Using a website tool to expand public's role in dengue vector control
Background: Dengue fever, transmitted by Aedes aegypti or A. albopictus, ranks as the most serious mosquito-borne viral disease in the world; it is also the fastest growing: currently 50 million cases are reported yearly. Dengue fever is a public health concern and a significant economic and social burden in over 100 countries. Dengue is a year-round problem in Puerto Rico as well as in other dengue-endemic countries. This project provides community education and a website tool for reporting potential breeding sites out of view to environmental inspectors. Methods: We provided the Dengue Resource Center (www.dengue.biosecpr.com) with a reporting tool enabling the public to join the efforts in vector control; highlighted the importance of draining and removing stagnant water containers as well as discarded tires to prevent the spread of dengue. A staff member replies to all reporting messages, conducts weekly reviews and modifications of inspectors' schedules to include newly reported breeding sites. Results: Public reporting has proved effective in identifying breeding sites in abandoned commercial/residential areas. It has also succeeded in revealing illegal tire dumpsites. Directly this has led to an increase in the average number of weekly inspection sites (20 to 25). More importantly, it has had the effect of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of site inspections (a crucial consideration when hampered by limited resources). Discussion/Conclusions: Application of this tool has empowered communities by allowing them to have a hand in environmental inspections and mosquito control. Enhanced international collaboration is needed to improve vector control measures.
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Describe how a website tool could assist in identifying mosquito breeding sites that are out of view to environmental inspectors.
Identify the benefits of having a website tool for reporting potential dengue mosquito breeding sites.
Keyword(s): Infectious Diseases, Internet Tools
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: For the last two years I have been the Director of the Dengue Project at the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, PR Department of Health, in charge of planning, organizing and evaluating community interventions to prevent and control dengue fever.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.