The Puerto Rico Vector Control Unit (PRVCU) took part in the 49th Annual Conference of the Society for Vector Ecology (SOVE), when it revealed the results of studies conducted by Unit scientists that reveal a resistance of mosquitoes to traditional insecticides.
The event, promoted by SOVE, a professional organization founded more than 50 years ago, brings together experts in biology and vector control programs from around the world, and the Island is the stage for the discussion of relevant topics such as vector and disease suppression through the integration of alternative control methods, among others.
The Unit has publicly expressed in different forums that Puerto Rico is in a new era in the control of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, vector of diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya. In simple words, the spray truck passing through communities, with no need to take additional action, is no longer the solution.
“It is urgent that we implement new control methods in Puerto Rico that are safe for humans, flora and fauna, and that are cost-effective,” said Grayson Brown, entomologist and executive director of the Unit.
“This undoubtedly represents changes in habits and will require adaptation but, given the issue of resistance to insecticides presented by the native mosquito, our quest is to prevent and do our part as citizens,” added Brown.
During her presentation PRVCU Associate Director Marianyoly Ortiz presented an action plan developed for Puerto Rico related to alternative methods that could be used for the control of Aedes aegypti.
“It is important to educate and mobilize citizens about these issues, and with that objective we work to impact communities and their residents who have an important role in mosquito control, but this alone is not enough,” she said.
Topics such as environmental management, biological control, public education and the appropriate control technology of this vector are factors that drive the Unit to participate in this type of forum, to continue its educational process.
Unit scientists present their findings in many types of forums to continue to deliver the message concerning the issues and needs for vector control for Puerto Rico.
Part of this message involves making a call to different sectors of the health and government to provoke a change of management that helps us to control this deadly vector, officials said.