|An Aedes Aegypti mosquito lays about 3,000 eggs during their lifetime.|
Whilst contemplating about today’s talk I realized that more than one person has asked about what I know about the Zika Virus in Panama. Like many people I’ve been following the news and tweets about the virus concerned about its spread in Central and South America.
“We want to send a message and to urge citizens to eliminate mosquito breeding water” Minister Francisco Terrientes
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. The number of infected people in Panama thus far is at 60, one is a pregnant woman;
2. Most of these cases are in the Guna Yala. The Minister declared a health alert in this area in early December, the first country in Central America and the Caribbean to do so. A national alert was declared February 16th;
|“The decree orders all public entities, immediately, to make available to the Ministry of Health, all economic, physical and human resources that the agency requires for the implementation of plans to prevent and control the disease. An exception to the Ministry of Health and Social Security Procedure Selection of Contractor and is authorized direct contracting for the procurement of goods, services and supplies that health authorities define as necessary to deal with the health emergency ” says a note from the Ministry of Communication of the State.|
3. On February 18, President Juan Carlos Varela will meet with representatives, mayors and other officials from the health authorities, to address containing the virus; and
4. People are being asked to eliminate the breeding sites of Aedes Aegypti mosquito which transmits Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika. Spraying only attacks the adult mosquito, not the young.
When falling ill people are asked to rest and take medicine for pain and fever. As with Dengue, people falling ill with Zika are not to use Aspirin or Ibuprofen. (Both have an antiplatelet effect, protecting from blood clots and thining blood, although Ibuprofen less so than Asprin.) Acetaminophen (Tylenol) was prescribed for me when I had Dengue which is similar to Zika and Chikungunya. People are also asked to protect themselves by wearing long sleeves and pants and using mosquito nets while sleeping. It’s also necessary to drink lots of liquids when ill and if any symptoms of the virus occur get medical attention immediately.
Our area is still very dry and as long as people keep their yards clean there shouldn’t be too many breeding areas for the mosquito. That’s not to say that someone can’t come from an area where there is an outbreak and be ill…in the campo.
The video today explains a little about mosquito control. Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria kill over a million people each year (plus horses, dogs and cats). And over the past 100 million years, they’ve gotten good at their job — sucking up to three times their weight in blood, totally undetected. So shouldn’t we just get rid of them? Rose Eveleth shares why scientists aren’t sure.