Over 380,000 people have been protected from dengue fever in Vietnam thanks to the implementation of a novel strategy to control mosquitoes in the country, concludes a report in this week’s issue of THE LANCET.
Dengue fever is the most common insect-borne virus infection, causing more than 50 million infections, 500 000 cases of dengue haemorrhagic fever and at least 12 000 deaths per year. The mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is the major global vector of dengue viruses. It needs stagnant water to breed and is commonly found in water storage containers.
Brian Kay (Royal Brisbane Hospital, Queensland, Australia) and Vu Sinh Nam (Ministry of Health, Vietnam) developed a mosquito control strategy and evaluated it in12 provinces in Vietnam from 1998 to 2003. Their strategy involves inoculating large water storages with crustaceans called Mesocyclops, which feed on mosquito larvae and targeting containers that produce the most mosquito larvae. Community education and activities, such as the collection of discarded containers, also form an important part of the strategy.
Udani Samarasekera | alfa
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