File photo shows the fogging being carried out.
MIRI: Whenever a positive case of dengue is confirmed, the fogging process is a necessary procedure to prevent the risk of transmission of dengue by adult mosquitoes in a neighbourhood and its vicinity.
LED mosquito trap for home use.
Whilst fogging reduces the risk of dengue transmission, there are many who are unsure whether or not to keep their windows closed during the process.
Miri Health Department consultant epidemiologist Dr P Raviwharmman Packierisamy said that while the chemical used is safe for humans, it is advisable to close home windows during the fogging process.
“For homes that do not have mosquito nets, it is actually better to keep the windows closed to prevent Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from entering the house. There have been cases where the mosquito entered the house and bit a healthy human, causing an increase in the number of dengue cases.
“For homes that have mosquito nets, it is alright to not close the windows as fogging can help eliminate indoor mosquitoes too,” he told The Borneo Post.
In Miri, there are two types of fogging insecticides used by the department’s Vector (Dengue) Unit – oil-based insecticide and water-based insecticide.
Mosquito netting provides extra protection at home.
Oil-based insecticide requires solvent as a diluent and usually produces thick smoke commonly seen here in the community, whereas water-based insecticide uses water as a diluent and produces less-thick smoke.
Dr P Raviwharmman said both insecticides are chemically safe for humans as they mainly attack adult mosquitoes.
However, he said in order to control mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, effort should be put on eliminating mosquitoes when it is at the aquatic phase which is larvae or pupae.
“The cycle from aquatic phase to adult phase for mosquitoes is about seven days. Hence, if the mosquitoes’ breeding sites are not identified and eliminated, the adult mosquitoes will repopulate the area very quickly.
“Therefore, extra precautionary measures such as clearing plastic containers, flower pots, septic tank, basins, jars, roof gutter and refrigerator water collector tray could remove potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes both inside and outside the house,” he said.
Dato Dr Fam Tem Lom
Meanwhile, Miri Hospital general medicine consultant specialist Dato Dr Fam Tem Lom stressed that the use of mosquito netting and mosquito traps can provide additional protection, along with the use of insect repellent during outdoor activities.
He said it is very important to identify the symptoms of dengue fever, such as sudden high fever, severe headaches, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, skin rash that will appear two to five days after the fever, as well as mild bleeding from the nose or gums.