Jan. 25, 2005 The Health Department will begin fogging to kill mosquitoes Thursday on St. Croix, Dr. Audria Thomas said Tuesday.
Thomas, the Health Department's district health officer for St. Thomas and St. John, said fogging on St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island will follow.
"We really didn't have much of a choice," she said of the fogging project.
Thomas said the fogging schedule will be announced.
She said the mosquito population is growing thanks to unusual winter rains.
The rain has created breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the mosquitoes that can carry dengue fever.
She said 20 people have recently been hospitalized with dengue fever in the St. Thomas/St. John district. She said no dengue patients were hospitalized on St. Croix.
Additionally, anecdotal evidence shows that more people have suffered from the disease, but have not been hospitalized.
She said the chemical used in the fogging is safe for humans and animals. She said she did not have the chemical name at her fingertips.
Thomas said that the fogging will continue if the rainfall keeps up and the number of dengue cases continues to increase.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, it only takes a week for eggs to hatch and grow into adult mosquitoes.
A Health Department pamphlet advises residents to eliminate all standing water near their houses so mosquitoes don't have a place to lay their eggs. The pamphlet indicates the mosquitoes lay their eggs on the walls of containers made of plastic, metal and glass.
According to the CDC, dengue fever can be fatal. Its symptoms include fever, a severe headache as well as joint and muscle pain. Many patients have nausea, vomiting and a rash.
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