The Mosquito Research and Control Unit continues to focus efforts on controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito, even though no new confirmed cases of dengue have been reported in the past week.
“Both planes are in use right now,” said MRCU Director Jim McNelly. “One plane is used to target dengue mosquitos, and when it finishes, we then deploy the second plane to combat nuisance mosquitoes.”
Cayman public health officials said last week that the islands have six confirmed cases of patients with dengue fever, including three that were locally transmitted. McNelly said that although there have been no additional confirmed cases, his office has received reports of potential ones.
Since the first confirmed dengue case, the MRCU has increased both its ground and air mosquito-control methods.
“We have deployed reactive measures to address mosquito population is areas such as East End and parts of George Town where there are unconfirmed but potential cases of dengue,” said McNelly.
People who exhibit signs of dengue usually have to wait two weeks before a positive diagnosis can be confirmed, as samples collected in Cayman are sent to a regional testing centre in Trinidad and Tobago.
During an East End community meeting last week, Timothy McLaughlin-Munroe of the Health Services Authority’s Public Health Department confirmed there were an additional two potential cases that were awaiting laboratory confirmation.
In a previous Cayman Compass article, McNelly warned that two weeks of sporadic heavy rainfall had resulted in an increase in mosquito breeding. On Tuesday McNelly told the Compass those mosquito larvae were now fully-grown mosquitoes.
“Those mosquitoes are now able to fly and will result in an increase in the over all number of mosquitoes,” said McNelly. “However, we have been fortunate to have fairly good weather in the recent weeks, which has allowed us to actively deploy control measure in expectation of the increase in mosquitoes.”