Emergency mosquito spraying has commenced on St. Martin/St. Maarten after 10 cases of infection with the insect-borne chikungunya virus were reported. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued a travel warning about the outbreak of the illness, which can cause fever, joint pain, and other symptoms.
Other preventive measures being taken include:
- asking residents to remove potential mosquito breeding sites
- alerting local physicians about the illness
- yard-to-yard mosquito inspections
- cautionary banners and posters
- asking all taxi and bus drivers, restaurants, stores, attractions and others to have mosquito repellent available for guests
"St, Maarten is still safe to visit and we do encourage travelers to come to the island," says Ted Richardson, tourism and transportation minister for the Dutch side of the island. "While on island, visitors can help protect themselves by using mosquito repellent on hands, face, feet (parts of the body that are exposed), and wear long sleeve shirts and pants/skirts, especially during the high risks times (dawn & dust)."
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