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Victories declared in battle against mosquitoes and their diseases

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A brigade of city workers clears rubbish that could conceivably be a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Mérida, Yucatán — Nearly 27,000 tons of planters, tires and other rubbish have been collected since 2015, part of a drive to eliminate breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes went from nuisance to health emergency when they began to spread zika, dengue and chikungunya, painful maladies that struck Yucatán hard.

The state health ministry has organized several desacharrización campaigns, removing abandoned tires, furniture and other junk that could hold rain water and host larvae.

Dengue cases have declined 97.5 percent, said the head of the state health ministry, Jorge Mendoza Mézquita. In 2011, 6,197 cases were reported. So far this year, that number is at 107.

Then came chikungunya, for which 1,603 cases were registered in 2015. The figure decreased by 99 percent in 2016, with only 11 cases.

Now it has dropped to 100 percent; so far this year there are no signs of this disease in the state.

The zika outbreak, which first occurred in 2016 with 765 reported infections, has decreased 98 percent, with only 15 cases this year, said Mendoza Mézquita.

The state has been adding muscle to its cleanup brigades. In 2012, there were 147 employees going door to door; there are currently 533 to do the same job today.

Fumigation equipment also increased, from 32 mobile units in 2012 to 185 today.

A descacharrización on Sunday in the north of Merida covered 278 colonías, more than 230,000 homes and 11,563 hectares. More than 1,570 employees were said to participate with the support of 81 vehicles and 340 dumpsters.

Source: Diario de Yucatán 

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