St. Maarten continues to welcome an impressive number of clients to the destination this year as it continues its preventive measures against the Chikungunya, commonly referred to as the "mosquito virus," that has been reported in the destination.
A number of public awareness campaigns for both residents and visitors have been undertaken, including posting flyers and banners and public service announcements as well as vector control fogging activities.
"Visitors can rest assured that St. Maarten remains a safe destination for travelers," said Ted Richardson, minister of tourism and transportation, in a written release. "Officials on both sides of the island are working closely to manage the situation. While on island, visitors can help protect themselves by using mosquito repellent on hands, face, feet (parts of the body that are exposed), and wear long sleeve shirts and pants/skirts, especially during dawn and dusk - the peak periods of mosquito activity."
Government officials (on both the French and Dutch sides) have increased island-wide awareness campaigns, particularly in the heavily dense areas. Regular site inspections and awareness efforts will continue in the densely affected areas.
All partners on island, including hotels, ports of entry, restaurants, taxis, etc., are aware and involved in the public awareness campaigns, and are also taking preventative measures.
Upon arrival, passengers are reminded to use the preventive measures to stop mosquitoes from feeding. Princess Juliana International Airport officials are sharing the preventative tips on the airport's monitors, while The Wathey Cruise Facility is also distributing mosquito repellents to their partners at the port, namely at the information desk and to the taxi drivers, tour buses, stores, restaurants and water taxi operators as part of the preventive actions.
Chikungunya is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.