Concerns over risk of insect-borne diseases in St Kitts-Nevis

The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) has expressed fears that St Kitts and Nevis could be susceptible to insect- and water-borne diseases following the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Although the federation suffered relatively minor damage compared to a number of its Caribbean neighbours, the risk comes as floodwater recedes.

“In the weeks following the hurricane, the threat of dengue, chikungunya and zika outbreaks could increase as the floodwaters subside and debris filled with stagnant water become ideal breeding sites for the Aedes aegypti mosquito – the main vector for these diseases,” the IFRC said.

“Red Cross volunteers will work alongside the community to reduce the risk of outbreak.”

Other islands affected by the hurricane are also registering concern about the increased risk of these diseases.

The IFRC said it has released more than 720,000 Swiss francs to ensure a rapid Red Cross response in St Kitts and Nevis, as well as Antigua and Barbuda the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The immediate impact of the Irma caused damage to houses and other buildings, and electrical power outage across St Kitts and Nevis.

Barbuda, St Barthelemy and St Martin suffered catastrophic damage.

A second hurricane, Jose, headed northwest, missing the Caribbean islands.

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