A zero-tolerance approach has been taken by the Chaguanas Borough Corporation (CBC) to mosquito breeding grounds within the borough, whether caused by human neglect or incidental, Chaguanas Mayor Gopaul Boodhan, said yesterday.
Boodhan said work has already begun to eliminate potential breeding areas for the aedes aegypti mosquito, the insect vector that spreads dengue fever and now the chikungunya virus, which has made its way to Trinidad.
The Ministry of Health announced via newspaper advertisements Sunday that CHIKV had made its way South in the Caribbean to land on local shores.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan told media yesterday the three infected persons were tourists, located at this time in northeast and south Trinidad.
The virus has hit 26 Caribbean countries and is spreading at a rate of one country per week, director of the Caribbean Health Agency (CARPHA), Dr James Hospedales, told the Express at the weekend.
Though rarely fatal, CHIKV can have morbid results in persons with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The virus can cause swelling of and excruciating pain in the joints, which has been known to go on for months.
Keeping the surroundings free of open pools of water, such as water collected in guttering, pen containers and old tyres, aids in curbing the proliferation of the mosquito vector.
Chaguanas will be under tight watch, Mayor Boodhan said yesterday, and prevention of the spread of the virus will be high on the agenda when the Council meets today.
Boodhan said a CBC team met weeks ago with the Ministry of Health and clean-up efforts and monitoring of public grounds and private properties has been going on since then.
These efforts will be intensified, Boodhan said, and the Borough will not tolerate untidiness — including overgrown premises — that can harbour and nurture the aedes aegypti.
While the Borough will spare no effort to keep citizens free of the dreaded illness, the public must support these efforts, the Mayor said.
“We have taken an all-out offensive against this virus,” Boodhan said in a telephone interview.
“However, we must still make an appeal to the public to do its part in keeping the environment free of any possible breeding grounds for mosquitos.
The Corporation has also begun the exploration and cleaning up of empty properties in its electoral district and private land owners are warned to keep their properties in an acceptable condition.
A public awareness campaign has also been launched by the corporation with the distribution of leaflets and public service announcements, advising residents on recognising the illness and eliminating breeding grounds.
Keep a clean scene
Clean and empty:
a Water drums/barrels
a Old tyres
a Uncovered water tanks/cisterns
a Discarded buckets and other containers
a Flower pots and saucers
a Discarded tins/paint cans
a Discarded toys
a Roof guttering
a Bottle pieces on top of walls/brick holes
a Pet containers
a Unmaintained wading/swimming pools
a Garden containers and tools