Dengue: Attitude change needed | Selangor Times
Issue 118


Dengue: Attitude change needed
Writer: Lee Choon Fai
Published: Fri, 03 Aug 2012

KAJANG: Malaysians should be more concerned with cleanliness and adopt a zero tolerance attitude towards filth to keep dengue cases at bay.

“Individuals and the community need to be agitated and focus on everyday cleanliness. Currently, someone has to die to start a gotong-royong,” said Dr B Venugopalan at a Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) full-board meeting on Tuesday.

The head of Selangor Health Department’s Disease Control Unit was briefing  local authorities and councillors on the latest statistics regarding the breeding of aedes mosquitoes and dengue fever.

He said the public must adopt a change in attitude regarding cleanliness as even seemingly harmless places like basement carparks, dirty food stalls and small trash dumps have high potential of becoming a breeding ground.

The mass spraying of pesticide and fogging is also ineffective as it can only mitigate the breeding of aedes mosquitoes.

“Fogging is not the answer, it will only kill adult mosquitoes while the larvae are left untouched,” said Dr Venugopalan.

Widespread use of pesticides may also pose a health risk but it is not needed if the public do their part in preventing aedes from breeding.

According to statistics from the ministry, trash dumps and construction sites are the largest contributors to aedes breeding as larvae only require seven days to mature into adults.

Dr Venugopalan said aedes mosquitoes only need 5cc of water to breed and such places should not be left unattended.

“Leave a trash dump for a week, and we may have an outbreak (of dengue fever) on our hands,” he said.

According to the statistics, Selangor has the highest cases of dengue fever and deaths throughout Malaysia, with almost three times as many cases recorded compared to other states.

Dr Venugopalan said this was unacceptable as Selangor is the country’s richest and most developed state.

While he commended the  council for containing 99 per cent of outbreaks in the municipality within two weeks, he again stressed that prevention is the key.

Commenting on the research by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) where a larger, cannibalistic species of mosquito was used, he said it might only be feasible in certain locations.

He explained that the species chosen, the Toxorhyncites (Toxo), only feeds on plant nectar and will lack food source if they are introduced in an urban area.

“It looks promising, but we should not rely on it as the method is not sustainable for use in urban areas.  The public must do their part,” said Dr Venugopalan.




 Selangor Times



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