Mosquito misery in St Ann
OCHO RIOS, St Ann – Some residents of Buckfield in Ocho Rios, St Ann, are complaining that mosquitoes are making their lives miserable.
Their annoyance is tinged with fear that they may be at risk for dengue, the mosquito-borne disease, and they want more fogging done to rid the area of the blood-sucking pests.
“Them big and black, and them out morning, noon, and night; really annoying,” complained Monique Allen, who told the Jamaica Observer that the insects seem to be multiplying instead of going away.
She said she has tried everything possible to destroy their breeding sites in her yard and the grass was cut recently, but the problem persists.
“The mosquitoes still not going away. I guess it is because the rain keeps falling and the place wetty-wetty,” Allen bemoaned.
The parish recorded about 260 dengue cases in October and Allen is worried that her relatives may contract it. The health ministry has announced that there is a national outbreak and as at Thursday, November 30, 2023 there were 1,301 confirmed cases in Jamaica. The official data indicates that there have been 12 dengue-related deaths in the country, eight of which were classified as suspected and four as confirmed. The highest number of cases continues to be observed in children aged five to 14 years old.
“Right now I don’t know what to do, I have a young baby and I am afraid the mosquitoes will cause her to get sick. We have a net, but it come like the mosquitoes bore holes in it cause them still finding ways to get in. We use vape mats, it come like the mosquitoes immune; we have zappers, too, that works best but it takes time to charge,” Allen said.
The stay-at-home-mom said the most effective method of getting rid of the mosquitoes was fogging, but that has only been done once in her community since the outbreak began.
“The fogging help, because one day mi smell the fogging [chemical] and for couple days the mosquitoes did gone. But now them come back bigger and badder,” she said.
“Mi need the health ministry to ensure more fogging do a Buckfield cause the mosquito terrible and mi really no want me nor mi baby get sick. Mi a do mi best with the net and zapper, but the fogging a the best thing right now,” Allen appealed.
Her concern was echoed by other residents who told the Observer that the mosquitoes are a nuisance and need to be addressed.
The concerns are valid as the St Ann Health Department says dengue remains a major public health issue for the parish.
Speaking at last Thursday’s meeting of the parish’s municipal corporation, Chief Public Health Inspector Leroy Scott said that as at December 4 there had been 74 confirmed cases and one death from dengue.
He is hopeful that mosquito breeding will decline in the parish.
“It is somewhat anticipated because we are moving into the cooler months of the year, where mosquito breeding is not as prolific as during the warmer months in summer… We don’t know if there will be a resurgence come March/April but we will see,” Scott said.