The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Development of Brunei Darussalam wish to inform the public regarding the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases including the Zika virus infection. Latin America and the Caribbean are the main regions that are affected by Zika, however, there are neighbouring countries that are also affected by this disease. Alhamdulillah, so far, there have been no reported cases of Zika Virus infections in Brunei Darussalam. Zika Virus infection is caused by a virus carried by the Aedes mosquito. The Aedes mosquito is routinely identified in tropical countries including Brunei Darussalam. This species of mosquito often breed in containers that hold stagnant water including empty tins, drip-trays for flower pots, old tyres and rubbish left strewn about. Mosquito breeding increases many-fold after a rainy period. Typically, these mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and late afternoon. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Development will continue to cooperate in implementing preventive and control measures against the Aedes mosquito. These measures include ensuring environmental sanitation, waste management and the use of insecticides where appropriate to control the adult mosquito population.
The aforementioned measures are useful but the most effective measure is for the public to eliminate all mosquito breeding sites. Members of the public should take the following measures:
Pour out water from the base of flower pots and replace the water inside the pots at least once a week. The insides of the flower pots should also be brushed to eliminate any mosquito larvae that stick to the walls of the pots.
Clean out clogged drains to ensure there is no stagnant water.
All containers that contain water such as bottles, cans, plastic containers and coconut shells must be planted or safely disposed in a covered trash bin.
Turn over or seal tightly all water storage that are no longer used such as buckets and barrels.
Boats that are no longer used should be reversed so that water does not stagnate.
Do not leave old tyres abandoned and exposed to rain water. Puncture out the tyres to prevent water stagnation. A better measure is to remove the old tyres that are no longer used and send to landfills.
The support and cooperation of all stakeholders is vital. Members of the public must engage fully and share responsibility in taking preventive measures against mosquito breeding. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Development will continue to work together to implement any necessary measures. For any questions about the Zika virus infection or any mosquito-borne disease, the public can visit the Ministry of Health website at www.moh.gov.bn or call Darussalam Hotline 123.
Source: Radio Television Brunei