Even with a large number, customers still face resistance from the population
Endemic disease control agents in the Petropolis Department of Health are continuing to work to control and prevent the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya. About 45 thousand home visits are made per month.
[object HTMLDocument]All endemic agents are vaccinated with two doses against COVID-19. At this time of epidemic, the visit is made only on the outside of the property, to check places with standing water and uncovered water tanks.
The tasks performed by the agent for controlling endemic diseases include home inspections, relaying information about the care needed to ensure that the vector does not spread, destroying breeding sites and using larvicides when necessary. In April of this year, clients were redistributed, with teams organized into fixed points. Agents are associated with the Environmental Monitoring Coordination of the Health Monitoring Division of the Health Department.
The health department’s environmental monitoring coordinator, Alessandra Cardoso, notes that even with the reorganization, agents face resistance from residents: “With this new organization, the resident knows who the agent is in the area. He will always monitor and keep track of work in the surrounding areas. We have encountered resistance from people to conduct home checks. Our work also includes educational measures to guide care for mosquito infestations. We need residents to understand the importance of this work.”
The endemic disease control agent has his own uniform, with identification jacket and accessories. If the resident is in doubt as to whether the person at their door is an agent, they can contact the coordinator for verification by phone: (24) 2231-0841. Complaints about a water tank without a cover and water accumulated in the house can also be submitted to this figure.
In the latest Aedes aegypti Rapid Index (LIRA) survey conducted in 2020, Petrópolis had a score of 0.77% in the mosquito infestation classification criteria, according to the National Arbovirus Prevention and Control Guidelines. This number represents a low risk of infection, with a disease rate of less than 1%. Between 1 and 3.99%, numbers represent a warning sign, and over 4.00%, a high risk of mosquito contamination.
“Compared to last year, when there were 50 workers sick, the city council has nearly tripled that number, and today there are 142 workers. They are spread over nine city districts, with an emphasis on urban areas. Regardless of the season, the fight against Vectors and the provision of guidance to the population is carried out on an ongoing basis through home visits”, emphasized the Minister of Health, Aloysio Barbosa.
The symptoms of dengue and chikungunya are similar. While dengue is brought out by pain in the body, chikungunya is brought out by pain and swelling in the joints. On the other hand, Zika is characterized by low fever (or no fever), patches of skin, and itching of the body. Symptoms are similar but treatment varies from one disease to another. If symptoms appear, find the nearest health unit.
Alessandra emphasizes that care for Aedes aegypti larvae and mosquitoes should take place every month of the year: “Avoiding standing water, keeping water tanks covered and taking good care of them, is essential preventative care. Even in winter we cannot reduce our efforts to control Aedes aegypti.”