Editorial for 10 July: It’s war! Against mosquitoes

The yearly ritual of us versus them is in full blown action.

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit is busy trying to
keep the mosquito population in the Cayman Islands at bay, but they can’t do it
all themselves.

The mosquito count this year is high because of unexpected
early rains in May.

While there are 36 species of the pesky little critters, the
majority of the mosquitoes on the Cayman Islands are harmless, with one
exception being Aedes aegypti, the Dengue fever carrier.

Dengue usually isn’t fatal, but it can be an unpleasant
disease that usually lasts between 10 days to a month.

It can be dangerous if contracted more than once by a

There is no vaccine for dengue.

The disease is manifested by a sudden onset of fever, with
severe headache, muscle and joint pains and rashes. The dengue rash is
characteristically bright red and usually appears first on the lower limbs and
the chest. In some patients, it spreads to cover most of the body.

There may also be gastritis with some combination of
associated abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Doesn’t sound too pleasant.

That’s why it’s important for us to join forces with MRCU to
help eradicate the mosquitoes.

The mosquito is known as a domestic, which means it is found
primarily near people’s homes in fresh, clean water where it breeds.

Please, check around your yard for an empty bucket, a
blocked roof gutter, a dog dish, a child’s toy or anywhere rainwater
accumulates without draining.

Mosquitoes bite most frequently just after dawn and right
before dusk, so residents and visitors should stay indoors during those times,
or if they are out wear long sleeve shirts and long pants. Mosquito repellent
containing ingredients such as DEET and picaridin are also an option.

So help the MRCU in its fight.
Take a walk around your property with a critical eye to anything that can hold
water. Turn it over or remove it.