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Dengue Knowledge and Preventive Practices in Iquitos, Peru


As part of a cluster-randomized trial to evaluate insecticide-treated curtains for dengue prevention in Iquitos, Peru, we surveyed 1,333 study participants to examine knowledge and reported practices associated with dengue and its prevention. Entomological data from 1,133 of these households were linked to the survey. Most participants knew that dengue was transmitted by mosquito bite (85.6%), but only few (18.6%) knew that dengue vectors bite during daytime. Most commonly recognized dengue symptoms were fever (86.6%), headache (76.4%), and muscle/joint pain (67.9%). Most commonly reported correct practices for mosquito control were cleaning homes (61.6%), using insecticide sprays (23%), and avoiding having standing water at home (12.3%). Higher education was associated with higher knowledge about dengue, including transmission and vector control. Higher socioeconomic status was associated with increased reported use of preventive practices requiring money expenditure. We were less likely to find Aedes aegypti eggs, larvae, or pupae in households that had < 5-year-old children at home. Although dengue has been transmitted in Iquitos since the 1990s and the Regional Health Authority routinely fumigates households, treats domestic water containers with larvicide, and issues health education messages through mass media, knowledge of dengue transmission and household practices for prevention could be improved.

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