The annual Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week will be held on May 3rd – 9th 2021. Caribbean Mosquito Awareness Week event is an initiative established among the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
The theme for Mosquito Awareness Week this year is “small bite, big threat”. Mosquitoes are known as one of the deadliest animals in the world, because of these small insect’s ability to transmit a number of diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases can put a strain on the health care systems, threaten social and economic development as well as affect the tourism industry negatively.
Mosquito Awareness Week will focus on the Aedes aegypti mosquito which is associated with the transmission of Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus. Dengue Fever is endemic to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the last reported outbreak was in 2020. In 2014 and 2016 there were outbreaks of Chikungunya and Zika respectively.
The slogan for Mosquito Awareness Week remains the same, “Fight the bite, destroy mosquito breeding sites”. Mosquitoes breed in containers or any receptacle that contain water. Persons are encouraged to store water, but should also prevent mosquitoes from breeding or nesting in these water containers. Water containers should be secured with a screened or tightly fitted covered to prevent the entry of mosquitoes into the water supply. Containers should also be covered when not in use to minimize the time for mosquitoes to enter the water supply. The overflow of water tanks should be meshed and the top of the tank should be secured.
It is important for everyone to get involved in the control of mosquitoes. Householders are encouraged to check their water containers at least once weekly for the immature stages of the mosquito (the larva and pupa can be seen). These breeding sites should be eliminated or secured to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes. It is important to scrub the sides of the containers to dislodge the eggs laid by the Aedes species.
Remember, “Our health is a shared responsibility!” so get involved in fighting the bite and destroying mosquito breeding sites in and around your home.