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WHO Warns Of Increased Risk Of Vector-borne Diseases In Tsunami-affected Areas

larial treatments in hospitals across the affected areas. And in the Maldives, which is not endemic for malaria and dengue fever, the ministry of health continues to conduct its routine vector-control activities.

A generous outpouring of donations targeting vector-control efforts is facilitating the task. In Banda Aceh alone, some 100,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets, 20,000 rapid diagnostic tests for malaria and 150,000 treatment courses of artemisinin-based combination therapy - the most effective available antimalarial treatment - have been made available by private donors and UN agencies.

Providing support to countries to implement vector control strategies including establishment of a proper drainage system and engineering methods are key components of WHO's long-term strategy to rehabilitate the damaged or destroyed public health infrastructure. To implement this health system rehabilitation strategy, WHO urgently requires US$67 million for activities through the next six months.

Notes to editors

The tsunami in Southeast Asia, has at least in some areas, led to environmental disturbance of the kind that would typically be associated with increased mosquito breeding. While pools of salt water would not support mosquitoes by themselves, but once diluted by rains, they can become ideal breeding places for the malaria vector. Drinking water storage around temporary dwellings can also become a breeding place for vectors. Exposure is further increased if displaced populations live in temporary conditions without proper shelter.

Different mosquitoes cause different vector-borne diseases. Dengue fever is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito (a day-time biting mosquito, hence the utility of insecticide treated bed-nets is very limited as a specific prevention tool), while malaria is spread through the bite of a female Anopheles mosquito.

With no medical treatment available for dengue fever, case management should fo
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Source:WHO


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