By Alisha McDarris
For Hometown News
TREASURE COAST -- Many residents were alarmed last week after three cases of mosquito-transmitted dengue fever were reported, but according to Gene Lemire of Mosquito Control there is no cause for alarm.
Last week the health department alerted Martin County Mosquito Control to the cases and they immediately took action, sweeping the area surrounding the initial incident with mosquito foggers and inspecting yards for breeding grounds.
Teams canvassed a five to six block area, knocking on doors and treating areas where they found evidence of the species of mosquito that spread the illness that causes flu-like symptoms.
Dengue fever is spread when a mosquito bites an infected individual and then proceeds to bite others. The three infected individuals all worked at the same place, according to Mr. Lemire. Fortunately, all three are back home and healthy and no more cases have been reported.
"Hopefully it's over with," Mr. Lemire said.
The type of mosquito is a non-roaming variety, according to Mr. Lemire, and while his team treated more than150 homes in the area that were unknowingly breeding mosquitoes, he believes the problem has been resolved.
Mr. Lemire said residents shouldn't be overly concerned with contracting a mosquito-transmitted illness like dengue.
"It's a rare occurrence," Mr. Lemire said. "It has only occurred twice in Martin County and has never turned into an epidemic."
But as public safety is one of Mosquito Control's goals, there are a few things they recommend people do to limit their exposure to the pests.
When outside, use mosquito repellent and wear long sleeves and pants. In your yard, flush out breeding colonies by turning over empty containers like buckets, tires and dog bowls that can collect water and encourage egg laying.
Mr. Lemire also recommends cleaning out birdbaths on a weekly basis and removing any unused vessels that hold water.
Mosquito Control will continue to perform periodic checks and maintain their mosquito fogging routes five nights a week, but Mr. Lemire said residents can relax knowing there is really no cause for concern.