Clergy and congregations across the Diocese, as well as persons of goodwill, are being urged to take steps to rid their communities of the breeding places for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito which is spreading the Chikungunya disease now affecting Jamaica.
The appeal was made by the Suffragan Bishop of Kingston, the Rt. Rev. Robert Thompson, who is currently serving as Canonical Administrator while the Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands is out of office. In a letter to members of the Diocese, Bishop Thompson asked that special consideration be given to the very young and the aged who are more likely to be affected by the virus, and who are unable to protect themselves from attacks by the mosquitoes. He noted that “In assisting each other in this difficult time, we would be fulfilling not only our needs, but the needs of others.”
Bishop Thompson suggested that congregations in the Anglican church and other citizens who are willing to assist should share information from the Ministry of Health and medical practitioners with persons who do not know how Chikungunya disease is spread and treated. He also encouraged them to remain calm and follow the professional advice about the virus which is also known as “Chik-V.”
Prevent Chikungunya or “Chik-V”
The symptoms of Chikungunya are similar to other diseases such as influenza or dengue fever. They include headache; high fever; joint pains – mostly in the hands, wrists and ankles; muscle pains and a rash. These symptoms may be more severe in persons who have diabetes and heart disease.
- If you experience these symptoms visit a doctor or the nearest health centre at once
- The Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which spreads the virus, is generally found in places where people gather; and it bites mostly in the daytime
- Search for and destroy breeding sites in and around homes, schools, churches and work places by getting rid of old tyres and containers in which water can settle
- Punch holes in tins before throwing them away; and cover drums, barrels and tanks which hold water
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellent which contains DEET
- Cover your body as much as possible by wearing long-sleeved clothes