SANTO DOMINGO - Members of the Air Force of the Dominican Republic (FARD) carry out a nationwide operation to prevent the Zika virus and eliminate proliferation of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, a carrier of this virus and also of dengue and chikungunya fever.
Major Wagnel Vallejo, is one of the members who takes part in the fumigation, trash removal and information distribution to fight the disease.
"We are doing this on a daily basis in all surrounding areas and on the installations of the Air Force. Vallejo told Efe during the operation on Thursday.
They also conduct an information campaign, distributing an instructional booklet "house to house" which explains how to detect the symptoms of the disease such as fever, joint pain, conjunctivitis, and other symptoms, and what to do if one gets bitten by the Zika virus carrying mosquitoes.
The head of Civic Action said that FARD members are working with students, neighborhood associations and religious communities in all sectors, and assured that "the community has started to work in all sectors so that the mosquito does not spread."
"We send them to collect empty cans and bottles, plastic and rubber" and everything that could be a breeding ground for the mosquito, said Vallejo, who insisted that the eradication of this insect "is within our hands; if we do not throw trash in a street, do not store tires in our yards, and collaborate with the authorities we do not have to fear the Zika virus."
This preventative work is part of the special monitoring program, by the Ministry of Health, in the towns where many suspected cases of the virus have been detected, such as Santo Domingo.
Pregnant women in the early stages of pregnancy are strictly monitored, explained Raquel Pimental, director-general of the Department of Epidemiology.
She said that there is also a strict monitoring of dengue fever cases which continue to be reported, and it is necessary to not lose sight of this disease, since, unlike Zika, it can cause death.