Health Ministry Provides Update On Mosquito Borne Diseases

Government Information Services Limited Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (GISL) — The Ministry of Health, following consultation with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) would like to inform the public that as of September 9th, 2016, the number of confirmed cases of Zika Virus in Trinidad and Tobago stands at 376.

Eleven of these cases are in Tobago. The number of Zika positive pregnancies is 200.

The Ministry reminds citizens that four of five infected persons will not show any symptoms of the Zika virus and that only ‘high risk’ cases are confirmed by CARPHA.

High risk cases are:

· Pregnant Women

· Children under five years

· Persons over sixty years

· Hospitalized cases

The public is also advised that Regulation 27 of the Public Health (Yellow Fever Regulations) 1979, made pursuant to Section 105(1) of the Public Health Ordinance, Chapter 12 No. 4 has been amended, to increase the fine for unkempt properties or any harborage that may become a mosquito breeding ground from $500 to $3500. Public Health Inspectors from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government have been mandated to carry out inspections and execute fines against delinquent property owners.

The Ministry of Health continues its efforts to monitor and manage Zika and other mosquito borne diseases. However, the elimination of breeding sites is the best way to reduce the incidence of mosquito borne diseases. Citizens are encouraged to follow the under-mentioned steps to prevent infection of themselves and their loved ones:

· Dispose of all unwanted containers/items in the yard or environs which can collect water and become mosquito breeding grounds.

· Cover water containers such as barrels, drums or buckets with a mosquito proof covering.

· Ensure that your drains and guttering allow the free flow of water.

· Empty and scrub the sides of water vases or use dirt or sand instead to support flowers.

· Cover extremities when out in the evenings.

· Use bed nets that are tightly tucked under the mattress for protection at night.

· Use insect repellent that contains DEET as an active ingredient.

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