The Importance of Water Typologies in Lay Entomologies of Aedes aegypti Habitat, Breeding and Dengue Risk: A study from northern Australia

Darlene McNaughton, Emma R. Miller, George Tsourtos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Dengue fever is making a significant comeback globally and its control still depends largely on residents’ actions. Community awareness and education are central to its management; however, programmes have had limited impact, because they are often based on short-term research and limited awareness of the socio-ecological contexts wherein local knowledge of dengue and its vectors (lay entomology) is produced and enacted in and through place. Long-term studies of lay knowledge of dengue vectors are very rare, even though they are essential to the development of effective, targeted community education campaigns and mobilisation. In this paper, we examine the popular belief that dengue vector, Aedes aegypti, is ubiquitous in the north Australian landscape and demonstrate how local typologies of water are central to the reasoning underwriting this assumption. We show how these logics are fortified by people’s lived experiences of mosquitoes and the watery abodes they are thought to reside in, as well as through key messages from health education. We posit that long term, context-sensitive research approaches are better able to identify, understand and later address and challenge assumptions and may be more effective at informing, empowering and mobilizing the public to combat dengue fever.

Original languageEnglish
Article number67
Number of pages12
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

(CC-BY 4.0) Open Access article licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0) .

Keywords

  • Australia
  • Dengue fever
  • Lay entomologies
  • Lay knowledge
  • Medical anthropology

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