Have any recent visitors to the Orient Bay area had any troubles as a result of the mosquito virus?
We rented a villa in Orient for 2.5 weeks and just got back last week. Absolutely no issues with the virus, and didn't even get bit by 1 mosquito. After reading this forum how can you not be concerned, the language and links being posted by certain users are appallingly false and misleading. Only a subset of all the mosquitos carry this virus, a (very, very) small subset... look at the statistics...
The newspaper and CDC report on confirmed cases - those that had symptoms, went to the doctor, got tested and had test results confirming the virus. But there are obviously many more people that get the virus which do not for obvious reasons get tested - there's no "cure." The CDC actually publishes a formula to link confirmed cases to actual or suspected cases. If you follow that algorithm, which I did, and then you compare that number to the lesser denominator - the local population of the island, not the inflated # including tourists - you realize that less than 1% of the populous has been inflicted with this virus. When I did this analysis on Feb 4, 2014, the actual figure was 0.0864%. To me, that's a very conservative way to look at the situation. In other words, you are 7 times more likely to get in a car accident on any given day if you drive at least 10 miles/day in a metropolis area in America.
On a more qualitative level, we saw at least 5 trucks spraying on the French side, we used Repel (with Deet) wipes at dawn hours, and Orient is notoriously windy, which obviously helps. Please take comfort knowing that we too were going to cancel our trip and then once we saw the situation on the ground for ourselves realized how crazy that would have been... feel free to message me directly if you have more questions about this.
Is the mosquito issue only on the French side or the whole island?
I don't think the mosquitos are respecting the borders, haha. But I know what you mean... it seems to be more prevalent in the low areas of the island, which are in both the Dutch and French sections but those areas are usually not the places tourists visit.
As has been discussed on other threads here, using spray or wipes that contain deet during hours of 4-7pm will suffice just fine. You're in Buffalo, so it's akin to wearing bug spray when you go hiking, more to prevent bug bites, but secondarily, it prevents West Nile however unlikely contracting that may be.
As a note, my percentage is off above, I didn't move the decimal point, the actual % should be 0.8%. Still less than 1%... and that figure is for people who lived on the island for the last year or so. For tourists visiting the % would presumably be much less.
Check the hotel reviews where you are planning to stay to see if there are complaints about mosquitoes. We stay at the Mont Vernon at the far north of Orient Beach where the breeze usually keeps them grounded.
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