Nov. 19, 2003 The torrential rains have provided ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes, and health officials are urging residents to do what they can to deal with the problem.
Acting Health Commissioner Darlene Carty issued a statement Tuesday warning about the dangers. She asked people to "remove all containers, tires and debris" that might contain standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
Carty also advised residents to cut the grass and trim back shrubbery around their homes.
To minimize the chances of being bitten, Carty said people should wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants when out of doors.
"For added protection," she said, "the Department of Health highly recommends the use of insect repellant."
Vector-borne diseases include West Nile virus, dengue fever, eastern equine encephalitis and yellow fever. All are serious infections. Some can be immunized against.
Disease-control experts advise spraying clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET, since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.
Other preventive measures:
Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with babies;
Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times;
Install or repair window and door screens so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors; and
Spray rooms with proper anti-mosquito insecticide like Raid, but avoid breathing fumes when doing so.
Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.