Anna-Lisa Paul and Bobie-Lee Dixon
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Workers fear chikungunya may be in T&T
Staff at the Insect Vector Control Division say they have only started collecting data on the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the country last week and fear T&T may already have cases of the chikungunya virus.
Speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimised, officials say only last week between 91 and 111 ovitraps were set up in the Piarco area.
Ovitraps are used to track the number of Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs in a given area so that Insect Vector would know if there was a rise or fall in the mosquito population and if an area needed to be sprayed.
Sources say there had been a lack of ovitraps since last November, and that could mean that the virus, which Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan said was getting closer to home, may already be here.
The sources at Insect Vector said they had been unable to do any work for the past seven months owing to faulty equipment at the new head office in Cunupia, which they said had been brought to the attention of their supervisors, but to no avail.
They added that one lab technician, whose responsibility included reviewing the ovitraps, opted to return to the old office in St Joseph and do the necessary evaluation on the traps.