People's knowledge and practice about dengue, its vectors, and control means in Brasilia (DF), Brazil: its relevance with entomological factors

J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2000 Jun;16(2):114-23.


In South America, the epidemiology and ecology of dengue fever are strongly associated with human habits because the vector Aedes aegypti is strictly urban. Thus, the evaluation of people's knowledge and practice (PKP) is of great importance to improve integrated control measures. A PKP evaluation has been done in a suburb of Brasilia. Thirty questions were submitted to 130 habitants about income level, education, sources of information, specific knowledge about dengue, vector biology, and control measures applied. Other questions were about the responsibility of dengue control and the opportunity of applying a fine to people who would not cooperate with the control measures. Level of PKP was fairly high, either for housekeepers, workers, or students. The mosquito bite was cited as source of infection by 60.8% of interviewed people but 22.3% had no knowledge about this topic. The most cited symptoms in association with dengue were fever (73.1%), headache (66.2%), and rash (35.4%). Knowledge about mosquito biology and control was also fairly accurate, as demonstrated by 96.9% of answers. Elimination of water containers was the most efficient means according to 73% of people. Such action should be done mainly by the citizen (75.3% of answers). Despite the good PKP, correlations existed only between the PKP about vector biology and presence of potential breeding containers in March, and between the PKP about the disease and potential breeding containers in April. In conclusion, global educational campaigns may have a real impact on the PKP but this did not result in effective control of the mosquito breeding containers by the people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology*
  • Animals
  • Brazil
  • Dengue / prevention & control*
  • Dengue / transmission
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / virology*
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population