Practise 5-step Mozzie Wipeout

We thank Mr Paul Chan Poh Hoi (Use discipline, not nature, to fight mosquitoes; July 8) and Dr Snigdha Sharma (Use nature to fight mosquitoes; Forum Online, July 1) for their letters.

The most effective mosquito control measure, and one which the World Health Organisation recommends, is the detection and removal of breeding habitats and the killing of mosquito larvae.

It is also what the National Environment Agency (NEA) emphasises.

We urge everyone to stem dengue transmission by practising the Five-Step Mozzie Wipeout regularly as a way of life.

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In areas with active disease transmission, insecticide spraying is necessary to destroy virus-infected adult mosquitoes.

Thus, NEA's vector control operations in dengue cluster areas also include the spraying of insecticides and fogging.

The NEA is also studying the use of male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes to suppress the population of Aedes aegypti.

NEA has determined it to be safe and of insignificant risk to ecology.

Wolbachia is naturally occurring in 60 per cent of insect species, and the Wolbachia-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito is not a genetically modified organism.

If successful, Wolbachia technology will further bolster our efforts to suppress the Aedes mosquito population.

More information on the Wolbachia technology can be found at www.nea.gov.sg

Tony Teo

Director, Environmental Public Health Operations

National Environment Agency

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2017, with the headline 'Practise 5-step Mozzie Wipeout'. Print Edition | Subscribe