Public urged to guard against vector-borne diseases during Jazz Fest

Public urged to guard against vector-borne diseases during Jazz Fest
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Section of the crowd at Soufriere Jazz on Labour Day, May 1. The Ministry of Health is intensifying fogging activities at locations where jazz festival-related events will be held.

As activities around the 2014 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival heat up, the public is being urged to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from contracting vector-borne diseases.

The 2014 Saint Lucia Jazz Festival was officially opened on April 30 and will feature numerous fringe and main stage events around the island until May 11, 2014.

Senior Medical Officer Sharon Belmar-George said while the health ministry is undertaking various measures to help keep the public protected, everyone has his/her responsibility to play a role in the matter. One such precaution, she said, is using insect repellent during outdoor mass-crowd events.

Two vector-borne diseases, which are of concern to the ministry, are dengue and chikungunya. They are both spread through the aedes aegypti mosquito.

The senior medical officer said the Ministry of Health is intensifying fogging activities at locations where jazz festival-related events will be held in order to help reduce the vector population.

“But we would like the public to work with us in terms of reducing the possible impact at outdoor activities where vectors may be present. So we’re encouraging persons to walk with your insect repellent to ensure that you have it for outdoor events for both yourself, your family and you’re your children, to reduce the possibility of getting sick during this time,” she said.

Saint Lucia recorded its first chikungunya case in April, with several more suspected cases. There have been a number of dengue cases on island in the past few months.

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