A dengue epidemic is threatening to
hit St Mary with the parish’s health department detecting a breeding level of
the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the disease that is almost four times
the accepted level set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In a report dated 8 February
addressed to secretary/manager of the St Mary Parish Council, Ethlyn Douglas,
the vector control division of the St Mary Health Department, said of 507
premises inspected in January, 91 were found to be harbouring the breeding of
This translates to an index level
of 17.9 per cent, which represents a real threat when compared with the index
level of five per cent which the WHO says is sufficient to support an epidemic
of dengue or dengue haemorrhagic fever.
Last month, when the St Mary Health
Department inspected the premises in Port Maria, Annotto Bay, Gayle and
Highgate, it found that Gayle was the area most affected.
In Gayle, of the 158 premises inspected,
75 had breeding sites for the mosquitoes.
The report attributed the current
situation, at least in part, to the water problem being experienced in the
parish as several householders have been storing water for domestic use in
drums which act as breeding sites for the mosquitoes. There were a total of 466
drums where mosquitoes were breeding on the 507 premises inspected.
The report also indicated that
there were 11 breeding sites on 103 premises in Highgate, four on 71 in Annotto
Bay and one on 175 in the capital, Port Maria.