In 2019, the number of cases of the tropical disease known as Dengue fever increased by almost 600% in Brazil. This potentially life-threatening illness can be spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, whose larvae thrive in stagnant, untreated water.
Fortunately, chlorine chemistry can help prevent the spread of these insects. Sodium hypochlorite (or bleach) is very effective in fighting the larvae of Aedes aegypti. This vital chemical is also useful against mosquito that spread the chikungunya and zika diseases and prevent mosquito from spreading.
As such, WCC member Abiclor, the Brazilian chlor-alkali and Derivatives Industry Association, is launching a new campaign to focus on Dengue fever caused by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and the role chlorine chemistry plays in this fight. To start this project, they have published a video in Portuguese that shows how plants can be cared for to stop them from being a breeding ground for mosquitos. Three other videos will appear soon that will focus on pools, water tanks, drains and toilets which, if untreated, can also be potential homes for mosquito to grow in.
This is the fourth year of work by Abiclor, who have an informative leaflet on the important topic. There are plans to extend the project into other parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia and Honduras all have many cases of Dengue fever from mosquito according to the Pan American Health Organisation. Higher temperatures and increases in heavy rains recorded in the region have led to the faster spread of mosquito in Latin America.
This work is very timely as by October 2019 more than 2.7 million cases of dengue had been reported in the region with over 1200 deaths. This is 13% higher than in 2015, when the last outbreak of dengue occurred. Chlor-alkali chemistry plays a vital role in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases