Councillor fears Asian Tiger mosquito helping to spread dengue

COUNCILLOR Norman Perry (People’s National Party, Duhaney Park Division) believes that the Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, could be more of a contributory factor to cases of dengue in the Corporate Area than the Ministry of Health and Wellness is admitting.

Perry told the council meeting of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) last Tuesday that there is a high concentration of Asian Tiger mosquitoes in the Duhaney Park and New Haven areas, and that more public education is needed about them.

The councillor said that the Asian Tiger mosquito, which many of his constituents describe as “the mosquito with the white helmet”, is more aggressive than the Aedes aegypti mosquito that the ministry said is the dominant cause of dengue in the island.

“The Asian Tiger doesn’t only breed in containers, they also breed in bushes, and they attack right throughout the day,” Perry said.

More public education should be disseminated on the Asian Tiger mosquito, he argued.

However, in an interview Everton Parkes, head of the Environmental Unit for Clinical Data at the ministry, told the Jamaica Observer that although the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus were equally competent at spreading the vector that causes dengue, there are more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Jamaica than Asian Tiger mosquitoes.