Dengue fever and mosquito control in urban backyards in Key West, Florida

Authors: Melinda Butterworth*, Willamette University
Topics: Medical and Health Geography, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: dengue fever, mosquitoes, public health
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

During the summer of 2009 the city of Key West saw the first outbreak of dengue fever in the southeastern United States in nearly 70 years. While the outbreak was eventually contained, the vector, Ae. aegypti remains prevalent on the island, despite intensive control efforts. By using semi-structured interviews with residents, local health and vector control officials, and analysis of news pieces, this poster examines the control of the mosquito and tensions existing surrounding dengue fever on the island more generally. While local agencies view residents as not taking enough action around their properties to clear breeding sites, this research suggests that residents are taking extensive action by not only being aware of sites in their yards, but actively surveilling and intervening in their neighbors spaces. Further, important socio-environmental factors were identified that limit resident’s abilities to take recommended control actions. Such research is important for the southern US, which has seen a growing increase in dengue and other similar diseases in recent years, as mosquitoes that were previously only annoyances now vector infectious agents.

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