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Dutch St. Maarten wants travelers to know that it is conducting mosquito fogging of its border with French St. Martin, and that traveling to this island shared by two nations is safe despite a travel warning issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC issued a travel warning in the wake of reports of 10 cases of chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that can cause fever, a rash and various muscle pains, on the French side of the island.
“The Health and Tourism Ministries are working closely with the French Side authorities of the island to eliminate further risk,” the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau states. “Preventative measures have included emergency mosquito fogging both near the Dutch/French border and throughout the entire island.”
Tourism authorities at the airport and port have been requested “to be vigilant and alert in protecting their employees and guests/visitors to the island,” the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau states.
“We are asking all taxi/bus drivers, restaurants, properties, car rentals agencies, stores and attractions to have mosquito repellent readily available in their establishments for their guests, particularly during dusk and dawn,” said St. Maarten Minister of Tourism Ted Richardson.
“St. Maarten is still safe to visit and we do encourage travelers to come to the island. 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 the high risks times (dawn and dust),” Richardson said.
The Netherlands and France share the island, and it is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations.
St. Maarten assures travelers that “St. Maarten/St. Martin remains safe for travelers.”