Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Friday, 12 June 2015 - 4:00pm

The Virgin Islands community is being urged to continue their efforts to reduce mosquito breeding to prevent outbreaks of Dengue Fever, Chikungunya Virus and the new Zika Virus, which are all spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Medical Officer Dr. Ronald Georges said that the Zika Virus has spread from Africa to the Americas and was identified in Brazil in April of 2015. He added that there has been one case in the Dominican Republic earlier in June and there is a concern for the Territory.

Dr. Georges said common symptoms of infection with the Zika virus include mild headaches, skin rash, tiredness, red eyes, and joint muscle and back pains.  He said there is no preventative treatment or vaccines for any of the mosquito borne illnesses, other than rest, hydration, and anti-inflammatory medications.

 Chief Environmental Health Officer, Mr. Carnel Smith stated that even though the Territory has only been experiencing intermittent rain fall, during the dry spell, mosquitoes would have deposited their eggs in dry containers which would become breeding sites when flooded with water.

Mr. Smith said, “We are asking the community for their assistance in reducing our risk of future outbreaks of Dengue, Chikungunya and possibly the Zika Virus, by remaining vigilant by inspecting your premises for mosquito breeding sites.”

Persons, who need assistance in eliminating mosquito sources from around their premises, should contact the Environmental Health Division at 468-5110.

The Public is reminded that general clean-up should include the removal of all water holding receptacles, such as old tires, discarded buckets, pots or pet feeding dishes, abandoned and derelict boats and vehicles or anything that can hold water. Uncovered water tanks, wells, buckets and boats, need to be properly covered as these are potential breeding sites.

The Environmental Health Division is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact health are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and social well-being.

Author

Adrianna J. Soverall

Ag. Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Telephone: 468-3701 ext. 852 7742
Email:    asoverall@gov.vg