Decision on Use of Spraying with Naled Could Take Place Next Week
La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Grace Santana said Wednesday the government may have a final decision on whether to do aerial spraying using the chemical Naled late next week.
The Agriculture Department will be the entity in charge of the spraying together under the supervision of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the latter of which would provide technical assistance, Caribbean Business learned.
“Given the threat posed by the Zika Virus to the island and considering the rapid increase in the number of new cases, the government is rigorously evaluating scientific approaches on the risks of using the insecticide Naled. After the spraying with Naled was recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States as the most effective method to control the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, we have held discussions with experts from state and federal agencies on the matter. Being a public health emergency, we are studying it responsibly keeping in mind the concerns raised by all sectors to weigh in the conflicting interests,” Santana said in a statement.
“As of today, we have not yet taken a final determination on whether to allow the spraying with the insecticide, which might be happening at the end of next week. The people of Puerto Rico can be sure that any final decision undertaken will be beneficial to the public health of the country and that it will be timely informed. Meanwhile, we call on the public to continue to take the steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds to stop the spread of the zika virus,” she added.
She urged the public to wear clothing with long sleeves and long pants and with light colors. It is also essential to use condoms during sex and to use mosquito repellents registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, for its acronym in English) that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and lemon eucalyptus oil or para-menthane-diol oil.. Repellants should not be put on toddlers.
Homeowners should cover containers that hold water and inspect their home’s surroundings to identify potential mosquito breeding sites and eliminate them.