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Hurricane Ivan dealt the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) a heavy blow by downing both its mosquito spraying planes and destroying all of its monitoring equipment. However, quick action on the part of the Cayman Islands Recovery Operation (CIRO) and MRCU personnel ensured that the unit was able to bounce back and resume some of their key activities only a few days after the storm.

Although night flights were out of the question because of the number of unlit and damaged communication towers, cranes, and antennae, as well as the lack of street lights, island-wide aerial spraying resumed on Friday, 17 September -- only six days after Ivan!

To compensate for the loss of night-time spraying, MRCU undertook night-time fogging from trucks. This initiative, combined with daytime aerial efforts, paid off. Much of the success was due to intensified larviciding operations, using the equivalent of a year's supply of larvicide. "We prevented what might have been a massive mosquito problem," said MRCU Chief Dr. Bill Petrie.

Because funding for MRCU's replacement equipment was made a priority, the unit was able to play a key role in securing public health and safety in the aftermath through focusing on mosquito control and the control of flies at the landfill. Early in December 2004 MRCU was able to resume night aerial spraying operations.

Last Updated: 2010-08-15