Time-honoured Tactics To The Fore As I. Coast Confronts Dengue Peril

(@FahadShabbir)

Time-honoured tactics to the fore as I. Coast confronts dengue peril

Abidjan, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Jun, 2019 ) :"Cover your goods," Diakaria Fofana, a doctor of public health, warns food vendors as a thick cloud of insecticide spray wafts down a street in Abidjan, Ivory Coast's economic capital.

Men in protective clothes, goggles and masks are disgorging plumes of mosquito-killing chemicals in a bid to roll back an outbreak of dengue.

Two people have died and 130 have fallen ill since the fever returned to the West African state last month.

The toll, so far, is tiny compared with other tropical countries, especially in Southeast Asia, where the painful and sometimes deadly disease is an entrenched peril.

But tackling the outbreak is a major challenge for Ivory Coast, a poor country that is having to resort to time-honoured, labour-intensive methods of spraying and neighbourhood awareness campaigns to prevent its spread.

Female mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus transfer the pathogen when they tuck into a blood meal from someone.

A vaccine does exist, but is not available in Ivory Coast because "it has many secondary effects (and) it's expensive"," explained Joseph Vroh Benie Bi, director of the National Institute for Public Hygiene (INHP).

Developed by French pharmaceutical group Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccine is recommended for use in people aged nine and older, and only for individuals who have already been infected.

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