In Brief 4

Key measures to prevent and control dengue

In this season, PICTs in the south of the region are going back to warmer temperatures, which favour mosquito breeding and therefore increase the potential for transmission of dengue viruses. The potential for transmission of other vector-borne viruses, such as Zika, Ross River and chikungunya (the latter not reported yet in the Pacific Island region), will also increase.

A reminder that two public health measures are key to proper dengue control and prevention:

  1. The main prevention activity is to get rid of potential mosquito breeding sites. Community awareness and involvement are essential for dengue vector control, especially as the usual main vector for dengue, Aedes aegypti, is domestic, i.e. found in and around households. Potential mosquito breeding sites are any containers (artificial or natural) – even very small ones – containing stagnant water, outside or inside the household.

    Potential mosquito breeding sites should be destroyed OR be emptied of water and dried OR be well rinsed at least once a week to get rid of mosquito larvae (it usually takes about a week for an egg to become an adult mosquito in warmer temperatures).

  2. Early detection of suspected cases, with immediate perifocal vector control measures, is critical in order to avoid an extensive outbreak.

Based on a message posted on PacNet on 5 October 2007 by Dr Tom Kiedrzynski, Epidemiologist, SPC