Mexico: Malaria and Dengue, 1988-present
CIET has been carrying out baseline studies on these subjects since 1988. Bed nets and curtains impregnated with pyrethroid insecticides are being used in many countries worldwide to control malaria. Many trials, using this strategy, have shown reductions in attacks of malaria; but as of the time this study was begun no studies had been published on the effect of impregnated materials on the vectors of dengue.
In the coastal communities of Guerrero, the main vector of malaria is Anopheles albimanus. It has been found that the peak of biting occurs between 20:00 and 23:00 hours. This discovery was encouraging since most children are thought to be in bed and, thus, protectable from malaria during these hours. Aedes aegypti, the dengue vector, on the other hand, shows an early morning (06:00) and early evening (18:00) biting peak.
One of the first findings of this project was that people in the communities – even though they had a clear idea that dengue and malaria were carried by mosquitoes – had no notion that mosquitoes came from larvae and that they could be controlled by elimination of breeding sites. This is an important finding for community education. See the follow-on project concerning dengue in Acapulco.