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Mosquito traps placed to prevent Zika virus

Government is stepping up its efforts to stop the Zika virus entering the island.

While Bermuda is considered Zika-free — at least no cases have reported — the Department of Health's Vector Control team is piloting a new In2Care Mosquito Trap scheme.

The traps are designed to specifically attract the Aedes mosquito, which is the carrier and vector for Zika.

They are considered an ideal spot for the mosquito to lay her eggs, explained the Department. Once the female adult mosquito lands in the trap she is exposed to substances that are lethal to her and to her larvae (wig-wags).

Armell Thomas, the programme manager for Vector Control and Port Health, said: “We have ordered a number of these traps and will place them in various parts of the island. We have one of the best mosquito programmes in the world and this new trap will further enhance our efforts.”

Minister of Health and Seniors Jeanne Atherden said: “It is important to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses from taking hold in Bermuda, not just for our residents but for tourists choosing a destination and international business travellers who visit the island.

“Fortunately, Vector Control is well versed in preventive measures like the one we are introducing today and has a robust monitoring programme, but we must all do our part to keep Bermuda Zika free.”

The Health Department said it has been engaged on several fronts in the effort to keep Bermuda Zika virus free:

• collaborating with customs/immigration for port health travel monitoring;

• performing heightened mosquito surveillance and door-to-door checks of properties for standing water and mosquito breeding;

• enhancing mosquito control education in the community;

• partnering with the Caribbean Public Health Agency for Zap-a-quite game App http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20160225/NEWS/160229822;

• engaging a close liaison and planning between the Ministry's Epidemiology unit and BHB's infection control;

• providing advice to individuals and groups travelling to high risk areas on how to prevent Zika and what to do if affected to reduce the risk of introducing Zika to Bermuda;

• posting media advisories on zika for travellers on the portal at https://www.gov.bm/zika-virus.

“Everyone can contribute to keeping Bermuda Zika free by controlling mosquitoes around their homes and workplaces,” said Mr Thomas. “Residents must keep their environments mosquito free and inspect their property and empty standing water on a regular basis, especially after we have heavy rains. Buckets, spare tyres, plant pots and fish ponds must be carefully managed.

“Check your property and eliminate all standing water and call Vector Control for assistance if you are being bitten. Bermuda is at risk for Zika — we must all work to keep Bermuda Zika free.”

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The new mosquito traps target and kill Aedes Albopictus-the vector that could potentially carry Zika virus

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Published June 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm (Updated June 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm)

Mosquito traps placed to prevent Zika virus

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