By Caribupdate Weekly
There is an old saying that “precaution is better than cure.” And, with our recent experience with the Chikungunya virus, no one should disregard this weekend’s national cleanup across Grenada.
We still have too many Grenadians who are far too flippant in their attitude to the environment; too many are stone deaf to the appeals to avoid littering. And too large a number is not prepared to involve themselves in cleanup campaigns, even of their own neighbourhoods.
Long before Chik-V arrived on the shores of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique, appeals were made to one and all to keep their environment free of potential mosquito-breeding places. Those who scoffed at the appeal were otherwise suggesting that it was the government’s responsibility to do whatever cleanup was necessary and needed to be done.
We all know what happened. Chik-V descended on us with vengeance and there were pain and suffering, and absenteeism from work and school by the sick and hurting.
And, according to one Jamaican doctor, we’re not in the clear with Chik-V; oh, no, not yet. Dr Vitillius ReidHolder has warned Jamaicans to be on the lookout for a possible re-emergence of the Chikungunya virus later this year. If the goodly doctor’s prognosis holds true, we dare say let’s add Grenadians to the lookout list.
Dr Reid-Holder points out that some diseases, like dengue fever and leptospirosis, are seasonal; and, she believes the possibility exists for Chik-V to resurface in the rainy months of August and September.
If the thought of a return of Chik-V is bad enough, here comes another virus scare called Zika. This one, too, is transmitted by mosquito.
All across the Caribbean, including right here in Grenada, reassurances are being given that measures are being taken to detect any suspected cases of Zika, and to respond in a timely and effective manner.
The first case of Zika in the Americas was reported in Brazil. Symptoms of the disease may appear within three to 12 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and may include fever, headache, non-contagious red eye, muscle pain, joint pain or rash. Less frequently, there is eye pain or diarrhea. Symptoms may last four days to a week. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for Zika.
In light of the outbreak of these troubling mosquito-borne diseases, we believe it would be a good idea for as many Grenadians as possible to participate in this weekend’s national cleanup. It’s being spearheaded by the National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) in effort to encourage citizens to participate in disaster risk reduction activities; to raise awareness of the need to reduce litter; and to decrease the population of pests and rodents.
Yes, and the cleanup will help keep us free of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and Chikungunya.
Let’s each us do our part and take some personal responsibility by cleaning up our environment this weekend. And, after the weekend, keeping the place clean, day in and day out.