MONTEVIDEO – Uruguayan health authorities found larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the transmitter of dengue fever, in different places inside the homes of people who contracted the disease, although no new cases of the disease originating in the South American country have been reported since Feb. 13, a local media outlet reported.
The larvae, were found in “unusual” places in the homes of dengue patients – 15 of whom have been identified in Uruguay, most in Montevideo – such as pets’ water dishes, flowerpot stands and dresser containers, the capital daily El Pais reported.
“Suffering from the disease is not something that’s linked with hygiene conditions. The larvae can emerge in the most ridiculous places,” Uruguay’s deputy Public Health secretary, Cristina Lustemberg, told the newspaper.
Health authorities have alerted the public in recent days to focus their efforts on eradicating the mosquito by emptying containers of standing water and other breeding sites.
So far, six of the 15 dengue cases in Uruguay have turned up in Pocitos, one of the wealthiest and most densely populated neighborhoods in Montevideo, where 1.5 million people – about half the country’s population – live.
On Saturday, city authorities fumigated a sector of the neighborhood and organized an awareness day to inform the public about the health risks and mobilizing people to fight the mosquito.
Additional spraying is scheduled for Tuesday.
The mosquito also carries the Zika virus and Chikungunya, two other diseases that are spreading in the region but which so far have not turned up in Uruguay.