DOH 7: Misting Not Solution on Dengue Outbreak
The popular use of misting machines as a means to drive away dengue-carrying mosquitoes is not the absolute and best solution to stop the spread of dengue across Cebu province.
The Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (RESU) and the Dengue Program bureau of the Department of Health (DOH) told a media forum that based on research, 8 out of 100 mosquitoes can spring back to life after being paralyzed momentarily by insecticides used in misting or fogging.
“And these 8 can repopulate the mosquito population in a span of one week. We recommend to limit these misting operations because it develops resistance… The best and easiest solution (on dengue outbreak) is source destruction,” said DOH-7 Dengue Program coordinator, Dr. Ronald Jervic Buscato. Buscato stressed the importance of cleaning the surroundings as the most effective way in preventing the further spread of dengue.
“Remember the Search and Destroy in the 4S of DOH’s Anti-Dengue Campaign. In the household level, we should get rid of possible mosquito breeding sites such as containers in which stagnant water can be filled,” Buscato said. Misting operations are not part of the Anti-Dengue drive’s 4S.
Buscato also said they are still working to confirm studies on the possible harmful effects of misting operations, citing a report they received that a misting operator was diagnosed with skin cancer due to chemicals found in misting machines, especially permethrin.
“That’s why we’re having our pilot studies which are needed in finding out the mosquitoes’ level of resistance to insecticide,” Buscato stated.
He added that they will plan on introducing a new type of chemical to be used in misting machines. This proposal will be part of a nationwide anti-dengue convention next week with foreign experts.
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