It waits the right moment to attack its prey. It looks like the most harmless of all living things, but its bite can be deadly. It is attracted to the body substances of certain people; however, most are undemanding and harass anything that has blood.
Las Tunas, Cuba.- It is none other than the Aedes aegypti mosquito (transmitter of arboviruses), the one that takes advantage of the slightest carelessness to settle at home in a sneaky way, without making too much noise, as the best strategist. This flying species is exposed in the moment of the onslaught or when it decides to pester with buzzes.
It finds a comfort zone in ponds or stagnant waters; that's why the rains are a divine gift for its reproduction. To be exact, the female assumes the leadership of this battle without quarter and the blame for so many lives lost each calendar falls on her "wings."
Then, it would not be unusual to think that such an enemy is taking advantage of the distraction of families, which, right now, are focused on facing the new coronavirus pandemic. In this province, it has been able to find advantages by expanding its populations up to indices higher than the permissible.
It is seen prowling, mainly in the four health areas of the main municipality, and also in one of those of Puerto Padre. Dr. José Ángel Martínez Rodríguez, at the head of the vector department in the territory, also reports that some cases of dengue have been confirmed, without local transmission.
There is constant surveillance for nonspecific febrile syndromes and focus checks around those detected with the aim to prevent the spread of the disease. Those who present symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle or joint pain and rashes or red spots on the skin, should go to health institutions.
“Now begins a stage - he says - in which the Aedes increases because the climate conditions benefit its proliferation and even the shortening of the biological cycle. The Pan American Health Organization predicted one of the largest epidemics in recent years. We have already had evidence in several Central American countries.”
And if that were not enough, the permanence of families in the homes, as an essential action to prevent the contagion with the COVID-19, constitutes a plus point in favor of the mosquito, since it would not need to extend its flight too much to cause a spread of arboviruses in the communities.
However, each inhabitant could reverse this situation in Las Tunas and take advantage of it carry out a thorough auto focal control, and end the tiny “vampire”. It means that everyone has in their hands the possibility of converting the current social isolation into a fortress against the insect or simply into a favorable scenario for it to act at their leisure, and of course, suffer the consequences.
How to do it? It is very simple; Dr. Martínez says that most people know how to destroy it; although not everyone takes the measures into practice. "We must keep the water reservoirs covered (a place where 80 percent of the foci are housed), clean the courtyards and eliminate the containers that could store water, among others.
"We have stepped up vector control, even amid epidemiological complexities with SARS-CoV-2. Our country has a structure and conditions to avoid transmission of great magnitude, but the support of the population is necessary,” he says.
An intensive adult’s treatment (fumigation) is already being organized for next June, which aims to cover some 47,000 premises, located in the provincial capital and in the "Romárico Oro" area, in Puerto Padre.
At home, now that the weather allows it, the inhabitants can use their best weapons against the Aedes. No resources or enormous efforts are necessary, only the discipline and conscience of a few. A dose of solidarity does not hurt either, that which moves human beings to act, thinking not only about their own health, but that of others.