The best ways to control and prevent dengue fever transmission are:
- Source reduction meaning eliminating mosquito egg laying sites
- Environmental control meaning reducing human-mosquito contact
- Controlling by chemical treatment
Source reduction strategy to control dengue fever
Eliminating the eggs laying sites will automatically reduce the number of emerging adult mosquitoes and the transmission of dengue fever. In households, the items that collect rainwater or containers for storing water for domestic use, provide ideal living and breeding conditions for mosquito Aedes aegypti.
The most common habitat for the Aedes mosquito are:
- Water storage tank
- Water drums and containers
- Discarded water bottles and tins
- Flower vases
- Plates below plants and pots
- Pet bowls
- Room coolers
- Discarded tyres
- Water collected in these items should be tightly covered after use or completely discarded and dried if not in use.
- The important water container holders and containers should be emptied and cleaned to remove eggs at least once a week.
- Gutters must be timely cleaned and tightly closed.
The above preventive measures will control the adult mosquitoes to emerge from the egg/ larva/ pupa stage. In fact, the community participation is the key to dengue fever reduction and prevention. If every household aims to reduce dengue mosquito density, the transmission rate will decrease or maybe even stop.
Environmental control strategy to control dengue fever
Environmental management aims to change the environment and surroundings in order to minimise dengue vector propagation and human-mosquito contact. The following actions come under environmental control:
Personal and household protection
- Protecting oneself from mosquito bites is most effective by reducing exposed skin to mosquitoes to bite on. Long-sleeved clothing and mosquito repellents are the readily available options.
- Window and door screens or mesh prevent the mosquitoes from entering the home and reduce the risk of mosquitoes coming into contact with the household members.
- Airconditioning also prevents the mosquitoes from entering the rooms.
- Mosquito nets also provide additional protection against mosquito bites to the people sleeping during the day and at night.
- Household insecticides aerosols, mosquito coils or other insecticide vaporizers maybe also reduce biting activity.
Improving water storage system at home
Make sure you tightly close water storage sources at home after use to restrict mosquitoes to get in. Clean all water containers and storage items thoroughly at least once a week. Unused water containers and drums must be thoroughly cleaned, dried and tightly closed.
Waste and garbage disposal management
Proper storage, collection and disposal of household and community waste are essential for protecting public health. Regularly collect and dispose of garbage properly. Regular street and community drain cleaning also very important to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.