Chief Environmental Health Officer, Ferdinia Carbon, has stated that there have been no major outbreaks of diseases in Dominica since the passage of Hurricane Maria.
She said since the storm, there were one or two suspected cases of gastroenteritis but no outbreaks or major increase in cases.
She stated that the environmental health division has been working feverishly to prevent outbreaks.
“We continue to work feverishly to try to prevent having outbreaks because having a storm the category of Maria, our health services were impacted so much it would be very difficult to deal with any outbreaks,” Carbon said.
She thanked many, including water company, DOWASCO, who tried to restore pipe water quickly after the hurricane.
“We have our wash teams, the other people who are there working with us at environmental health and DOWASCO to ensure in the areas where we have no systems, the DOWASCO system is operational and persons can have potable water, water they can drink and not be at risk for communicable diseases,” she stated.
She noted that the Cuban government has donated rat bait to Dominica, which has been helpful in vector control.
“The Cuban government made a donation to the government of Dominica of rat bait which we have distributed over the entire island and we have gone out on that and spread it out there to try to reduce the amount of rodents we have in the population,” Carbon said. “We think it has been successful, persons are reporting that they have seen the rats dying.”
She stated that the environmental health division has also been doing a lot of treatment for mosquitos since there has been a major increase in the adult population of the pest since Hurricane Maria.
She pointed out that the majority of the mosquitos are the Culex mosquitos and not the dreaded Aedes Egypti, which transmits a number of diseases.
“Culex can cause diseases but none of the diseases they cause, we presently have in Dominica,” Carbon stated. “So we have been doing a lot of treatment in the basements because we need to reduce the source of the juvenile mosquitos.”