Crackdown on mosquitoes after fever outbreaks


25-June-2009

This follows news that during the first six months of this year, 24,000 new cases of chikungunya fever have been confirmed in Thailand.

Similarly large numbers of cases of this mosquito-borne disease have been reported in Malaysia and Singapore, as well as several confirmed cases in the area of Tamatave, Madagascar.

Meanwhile, during the last month alone, the health authority in Mauritius has reported 70 confirmed cases of dengue fever in the region of Port Louis.

These recent outbreaks of chikungunya and dengue have not reached Seychelles, but to prevent them from doing so the Ministry of Health and Social Development has issued an alert asking the public to help control mosquitoes.

“Members of the public are advised to remove all receptacles that can collect water from their home grounds and to dispose of them properly in the public bins,” the Public Health Department said yesterday.

“Receptacles that are to be used again should be placed in sheltered areas, away from where they can collect water.”

Public health officials are also advising people not to use water in flower vases at home or in cemeteries as flower vases containing water are preferred breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Plates underneath flower pots should also be removed so as not to collect water, and all water reservoirs should be well covered to prevent access to mosquitoes.

The Public Health Department is also urging travellers to Mauritius, Madagascar and the Far East (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and neighbouring countries) to:

■ Protect themselves from mosquito bites by using all appropriate means, for example mosquito repellent, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers, sleeping under bed nets and avoiding going into bushy and shaded areas, during their stay;

■ Continue with personal protection practices for up to seven days after their return to reduce the risk of introducing these viruses in the country;

■ Consult a doctor if they feel the following: fever, headache, joint pain, nausea, cramp, particularly in the week following their return to Seychelles;

■ Contact the Communicable Disease Control Unit if they are travelling, for advice on precautions to be taken while abroad.

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