Malaria outbreak control in an African village by community application of 'deet' mosquito repellent to ankles and feet

Durrheim, D.N., and Govere, J.M. (2002) Malaria outbreak control in an African village by community application of 'deet' mosquito repellent to ankles and feet. Medical and Veterinary Entomology, 16 (1). pp. 112-115.

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Abstract

The malaria vector Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Diptera: Culicidae) shows a marked predilection (> 80%) for biting the ankles and feet of human subjects, as revealed by our previous observations at Malahlapanga in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Topical application of insect repellent, 15% deet (N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), to feet and ankles reduced the overall biting rate of An. arabiensis by 69%. A focal malaria epidemic in Albertsnek village (25°33′ S, 31°59′ E) near the Mozambique border, following flooding during February 2000, provided an opportunity to apply these findings of operational research for outbreak containment. Twice-nightly topical application of deet to ankles and feet of Albertsnek inhabitants was followed by rapid restoration of pre-epidemic malaria incidence levels after one incubation period. This encouraging outcome should be attempted in other outbreak-prone settings where infective mosquito bites are sporadic and malaria has unstable endemicity.

Item ID: 13632
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Anopheles arabiensis; Anopheles funestus; deet; malaria epidemic; N,N-diethly-3-methyl-benzamide; operational response; outbreak response; South Africa
ISSN: 1365-2915
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 02:19
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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