Enforcement of Mosquito Control and Dengue Fever Prevention

Mei-Mei Kuan1, Ho-Sheng Wu2, Pei-Yun Shu2

2012 Vol.28 NO.12

Correspondence Author: Mei-Mei Kuan


Dengue Fever has not been considered as an endemic disease in Taiwan. Residents got the disease mainly from overseas might bring the virus to Taiwan and then caused local transmission in communities. Consequently, the outbreak patterns of confirmed indigenous cases in Taiwan are usually displaying temporal aggregation and correlate with the change of the number of vectors seasonally. Because of the following four rationales, this article focuses on the implementation of routine mosquito breeding sites cleaning programs to prevent dengue fever, and emphasizes the importance of health education to people who travel to or live in the endemic or epidemic areas, how to prevent from mosquito bites. First, the risk of infection of getting dengue fever for a tourist who has a one week to more than one month tour to Southeast Asia is about 1%. The infection rate for a tourist who has taken measurements against being bitten by mosquitoes is smaller than 45%. Second, out of all imported dengue fever cases, only 20 - 60% appears with symptoms. Half of the cases can be detected by airport quarantine but half of the cases are latent and these cases can be discovered after they have symptoms and visited a doctor. Forty to eighty percent of asymptomatic or mild symptomatic cases may not be reported and may become the infection sources. Therefore, dengue fever could be spread by mosquito bites initially. Third, dengue fever is transmitted through bites by infected female mosquitoes, especially Aedes mosquitoes, which need blood to nourish their eggs and then a community outbreak may occur. Last, according to literatures, the relative efficacy of using insecticides is thousand times better than that of vector elimination programs but the use of insecticide may cause pollution and drug resistant problems. The authors suggested that it is better to strengthen the following interventions: 1) people who travel to Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa should take vector control measurements to prevent from vector borne diseases; 2) tourists should take some vector control measurements to stop the spreading of virus to neighborhoods at least ten days after come back from epidemic areas, because they might be asymptomatic carriers; 3) citizens living in southern Taiwan, such as Tainan and Kaohsiung, where Aedes mosquitoes exist, should carry out some vector control interventions to decrease the transmission and to prevent who has been infected by a serotype of dengue fever virus, from being re-infection by another serotype and then become serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), especially during daytime and in the evening.