With the recent heavy rain, Health Department officials are once again cautioning residents to protect themselves against dengue fever by getting rid of stagnant water where mosquitoes that transmit the virus can breed.
"Residents should do basic things such as frequently emptying containers that collect water around their homes and spraying dark areas, such as closets, where mosquitoes that transmit dengue tend to hide,” Health Commissioner Julia Sheen said in a recent release.
Man-made containers — such as old tires, plant pots and empty drums — should also be checked for pooling water, Sheen said.
Residents can contact the department’s Environmental Health Division at 773-3107 on St. Croix and 715-5111 in the St. Thomas-St. John-Water Island district to report stagnant pools of water near their homes and in their communities.
Symptoms of dengue include persistent headache, joint and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. More complicated cases can result in hemorrhagic fever, which is characterized by high fever, bleeding and circulatory failure, and in rare instances can lead to death, according to a Health statement.
Health officers will begin fogging next week to help kill mosquitoes. Fogging will be conducted between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., and residents with "compromised immune systems" are urged at that time to stay inside and close their windows.
The schedule is as follows:
- Tuesday, Nov. 16: Bordeaux, Bonne Esperance, Crown Mountain, Contant, Lindbergh Bay.
- Wednesday, Nov. 17: Scott Free, Hull Bay, Mafolie, Magen’s Bay, Wintberg, Tutu.
- Thursday, Nov. 18: Smith Bay, Nazareth, Bovoni, Bolongo, Frenchman’s Bay.
- Thursday, Nov. 18: Cruz Bay and Coral Bay
- Monday, Nov. 22: downtown Frederiksted, Hannah’s Rest, Smithfield, Mars Hill and Stony Ground, William’s Delight, Whim, Campo Rico, Carlton, Enfield Green
- Tuesday, Nov. 23: Mon Bijou, Glynn, Castle Burke, St. George, Grove Place, Upper Love, Lower Love, Mount Pleasant, Paradise, and Colquhoun.
- Friday, Nov. 26: Queens Quarter, Rattan, Judith Fancy, Princess area
- Monday, Nov. 29: Strawberry, Barron Spot, Diamond, Castle Burke, Sion Farm, Peters Rest, Anna’s Hope, Catharine’s Rest
- Tuesday, Nov. 30: downtown Christiansted and East End areas; Mt. Welcome, Tide Valley, Mt. Washington, Solitude, Eliza’s Retreat, All for the Better, Grape Tree Bay