January 7, 2014
Stop bathing in rivers – PAHO

Residents of St Vincent have been implored to desist from bathing in rivers. This advice has come from Adrianus Alugman, senior advisor in Sustainable Development and Environmental Health with the Pan American Health Organization, who is currently on island.{{more}}

The rivers, according to him, may still be contaminated, as a consequence of the recent flooding that occurred on December 24 and 25, 2013. The contaminated waters can result in infection of mucus membranes, namely the eyes, nose, ears and mouth.

Alugman is presently in dialogue with Environmental Health Officers of the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment to lend support in the areas of Solid Waste Management, Vector Control and Water Safety.

The advisor says special attention will be paid to the quality of water and recreational water will also be monitored to prevent the spread of diseases. The PAHO representative will also increase symptomatic surveillance in the public.

A release from the Ministry of Health said it is important to address these issues immediately after a disaster to minimise the increase of vectors (rats and mosquitoes) and infections.