QCOSTARICA by Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo, Vozdeguanacaste.com – As if the cases of Dengue and Chikungunya in Nicoya weren’t enough already, now the Zika virus threatens to overshadow the inhabitants of the canton and the country after the Atlanta Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported to the Ministry of Health on January 29th thatan American tourist was diagnosed with Zika on January 7th after visiting Nosara.
Because of this, the Ministry of Health in Nicoya took action and sent health monitoring and vector control staff to Nosara on Saturday, January 30th, for emergency intervention.
According to Dr. Zinnia Cordero, director of the Area Department of Health, a complete sweep is taking place in the area with fumigation using the Leco machine, which fumigates from a vehicle in order to eliminate mosquitoes as they fly.
According to the World Health Organization, Zika is an emerging mosquito-borne virus that was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever.
In addition to this fumigation, the Ministry of Health is also using the thermonebulisation machine that officials use to fumigate inside houses and buildings, as well as the focal work of doinghome inspections, interviews and reviewing and eliminating breeding sites.
“Five officials are working in the field, plus a supervisor, and in the coming days, three officials from Liberia and two from Santa Cruz will be added, who are going to reinforce the help,”explained Cordero.
The goal of the officials is to fumigate every neighborhood in the district of Nosara and do work focused on breeding grounds, affirmed Sonia Campos, head of the Epidemiological Monitoring Department of the Ministry of Health.
“We are going from Nosara Center, San Pedro, Guiones, Los Angeles, Santa Teresita, Santa Marta to La Esperanza, Pelada and Garza,” Campos said.
So far this year, four cases of Dengue and four of Chikungunya have been reported in the district of Nosara, according to the Epidemiological Monitoring Department of the Ministry of Health.
Dr. Cordero explained that the chemical that they are using in the machines is an insecticide called Cynoff to control plagues. It is mixed with water and used in doses to reduce its toxicity to the environment and to humans.
Likewise, Cordero assured that they will continue to apply Abate, which is a chemical that dissolves in water to attack the larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and after that they hope to apply Spinosad, which is a tablet that dissolves in water and attacks the larvae and eliminates them in 48 hours.
Unlike Abate, Spinosad is nontoxic, Cordero affirmed.
For now, the Ministry of Health remains on alert and the intervention work could last for more than a week in the district of Nosara.