Understanding household and stakeholder knowledge, attitudes and practices surrounding mosquito control and dengue in emergent areas in the southern United States: a case study from Key West, FL

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Wednesday, 5 February 2014: 11:45 AM
Room C213 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Mary H. Hayden, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and K. C. Ernst, K. Dickinson, A. J. Monaghan, C. Tittel, and M. Doyle

Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are caused by dengue viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Annually, more than 300 million people contract dengue worldwide, and 500,000 people develop severe dengue hemorrhagic fever every year. There is currently no approved vaccine available, and there are increasing numbers of cases in the Americas. The primary dengue virus vector, Aedes aegypti is a human commensal and oviposits in artificial containers in and near buildings. The weather and climate link to Aedes aegypti is strong; containers suitable for oviposition can be rain-filled (tires; discarded items) or filled manually (potted plant bases; buckets; 55 gallon drums). Manually filled containers provide oviposition sites in times of drought, and in much of the developing world, people store water even with “reliable” piped water. Community engagement in household level control through elimination of standing water is an important method for reduction of mosquitoes in resource strapped regions, but very few evaluations have taken place regarding the efficacy of stakeholder-developed information campaigns. We report on selected results of a door-to-door 400 household survey and an internet stakeholder survey undertaken in the summer of 2012 in Key West, FL. Both surveys were designed to better understand knowledge, attitudes and practices surrounding dengue risk and mosquito control. Results suggest that there is a need to better educate the public on dengue prevention and that much of the community had not heard of the proposed release of genetically modified mosquitoes (OX513A Ae. aegypti) to control dengue.