Beliefs about the prevention of dengue and other febrile illnesses in Merida Mexico

P. Winch, L. Lloyd, M. D. Godas, C. Kendall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


A series of open interviews and a survey were conducted in several neighbourhoods in the city of Merida, Mexico to find out whether poor response to government dengue control programmes might be related to the explanatory models about dengue and its prevention held by community members. Dengue was grouped by informants with other mild febrile illnesses, all of which were thought to be inevitable and capable of converting into more serious illnesses. Although vector control personnel think of prevention in terms of eliminating the larval habitats of mosquito vectors, the form of prevention most commonly described involved looking after oneself once sick, so that mild fevers do not evolve into serious fevers. Due to the prevalence of this different model of prevention, it is argued that simple messages about dengue may be misinterpreted. Vector control programmes need to take into account local models of febrile illnesses and their prevention in order to be effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology


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