The Zika Virus may no longer pose a threat to Grand Cayman, however, the Mosquito Research and Control Unit is not about to give the Aedes Aegypti a pass.
The Unit’s director Dr. Jim McNelly said his team is giving the mosquito notice that it has to pack up and leave.
“You have alphabetically, Chikunguna virus, Dengue, which is actually a series of four different viruses, perhaps five. And then you have Zika virus. Aedes Aegypti is capable of transmitting all of those different diseases,” said Dr. McNelly, outlining the illnesses caused by the mosquito.
This is why Dr. McNelly and the team at MRCU want to kick the mosquito off the island completely.
“What we want to do and what we’ve ultimately been tasked with is the eradication of Aedes Aegypti from Grand Cayman.”
He said the Unit has met this effort with a measure of success as the Cayman Islands has been off the CDC’s Zika watch list since 2017 . He said, however, continued vigilance is key.
Dr. McNelly said while disease prevention officers have been going from house to house eliminating breeding sites, the public has a part to play as well.
“If people would just look at their yard and get rid of any containers they might have, tip over any water bearing containers they might have on a weekly basis, it would help immensely,” he said.