As the rainy season gets going, mosquito populations are likely to increase. Although there are currently no outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses in the CNMI, dengue fever outbreaks have been declared in the Philippines, Palau, and, most recently, Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia. Now is the time to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and remove areas where mosquitos breed.
The Bureau of Environmental Health of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. and Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity Program, part of the Public Health and Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program, have the following recommendations:
• Empty water from containers around your home and workplace, including tires, toys, buckets,
• Coconuts, soda cans, flower pots, pet bowls; anything that can hold water, even very small amounts such as the tops of soda bottles, should be emptied and prevented from filling again in the rain if possible.
• Flush out holes in trees and plants.
• Keep your yard clean and drain puddles.
• Clean roof gutters to make sure rain does not accumulate and can drain out properly.
• Cover or screen rain collection barrels
• Fix leaking pipes outside.
• Speak to your neighbors and help them empty or remove water containers.
Avoid being bitten by mosquitos:
• Make sure your windows and doors have well-fitting screens with no gaps or holes; fix any holes in your screens.
• Close doors and windows and use air-conditioning if you have it, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.
• Use approved mosquito repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon-Eucalyptus, or Para-Methane-Diol. Do not use these two products on children younger than 3 years old, and always read product instruction labels before use.
• Dress in long sleeves and pants when possible, particularly at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.
• Cover strollers and baby cribs with mosquito netting.
For more information about how to control mosquitos, contact the BEH at (670) 664-4870/72/73, or email the Director of the BEH, John Tagabuel, at email@example.com.
For more information about CHCC programs, follow it on Facebook and Twitter at @cnmichcc, check out its website at www.chcc.gov.mp or call (670) 234-8950. (PR)