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Wednesday, 30 November  2005  Dengue Mosquitoes

Dengue fever is a virus spread by mosquitoes. Only a certain type of mosquito can pass on the disease. Its scientific name is Aedes aegypti.


PETER WHELAN: Around the world at the moment, dengue is increasing exponentially in some countries and there's a lot of deaths from dengue haemorrhagic fever so that's our aim, to make sure that we don't have dengue mosquitoes in the Northern Territory.

MELINDA JAMES: This is Aedes aegypti or the dengue mosquito.

The Northern Territory has been dengue-free since the 1950s but in February last year, routine trapping found the species in Tennant Creek.

Peter Whelan is a medical entomologist and in charge of the dengue mosquito eradication project.

PETER WHELAN: It was quite an unexpected thing to find Aedes aegypti here in Tennant Creek.

How are we going with the storm water drains?

MELINDA JAMES: Once a month Peter Whelan travels to Tennant Creek from Darwin to check the progress of the eradication plan.

These men have been working full-time for nearly nine months to rid the town of Aedes aegypti and the threat of dengue disease by spraying insecticide wherever water can collect.

PETER WHELAN: The eradication program is aiming to detect and stamp out every single Aedes aegypti that will be in this place.

MELINDA JAMES: Experts believe the Aedes aegypti mosquito was transported by road to Tennant Creek from Cairns.

When the species was first detected, it had already infested 91 houses in Tennant Creek.

Since then every house has been inspected at least three times and potential breeding sites sprayed.

Scientists say there is no risk of people in Tennant Creek picking up the dengue disease.

No larvae or adult Aedes aegypti have been found since late December.

But the eradication team isn't taking any chances.

PETER WHELAN: This environment's not receiving enough insecticide and so we need to be putting more insecticide into this particular area because there could still be some Aedes aegypti breeding in this site too so I'm gonna take these samples now.

MELINDA JAMES: The federal government allocated one million dollars for the eradication project but Peter Whelan says the program needs to continue for at least one more wet season.

If Aedes Aegypti is not completely eradicated from Tennant Creek, the disease-spreading mosquito could find its way to the tropical north where it would flourish.

Until the all clear is given, Tennant Creek residents are being asked to remain vigilant and keep a close eye on potential mozzie breeding areas.

Other regional centres are observing the Tennant Creek eradication project. If it's successful in wiping out Aedes aegypti, the same community-based approach could be used in North Queensland.



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English Bites - Dengue Mosquitoes
story notes

 increasing exponentially
 
If something is increasing exponentially, the rate of increase is becoming faster and faster. Here’s a graph showing the number of people infected with dengue fever over time. The rate of increase becomes faster over time. This is increasing exponentially.
 

 dengue haemorrhagic fever
 
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a serious illness that can occur as a result of dengue fever. It can be fatal but it only occurs in a small number of people who catch dengue.

 mosquitoes
 
Notice that we write the plural of mosquito as mosquitoes. Like other words that end with a long vowel sound, when 's' is added we pronounce it 'z'.
 

 Aedes aegypti or the dengue mosquito
 
This is Aedes aegypti or the dengue mosquito. Notice that its scientific name has a capital for the genus (first) name and not for the species (second) name.
 

 grave concerns
 
Grave concerns are very serious worries.
 
Example: We have grave concerns about the missing girl.
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 dengue-free
 
To be dengue -free is to be without dengue.

 Tennant Creek
 
Tennant Creek is a town in the Northern Territory.
 

 eradication
 
To eradicate means to completely destroy. Eradication refers to the act of getting rid of something completely.

 insecticide
 
An insecticide is a chemical used to kill insects.

 detect
 
find

 in the meantime
 
In the meantime means in the time between two things happening.
 
Example: It's five o'clock and the train leaves at six. What are we going to do in the meantime?
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 stamp out
 
To stamp out means to get rid of something completely.
 
Example: The police are going to try to stamp out crime in this area.
 
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb stamp out, follow the link.
 
more information: stamp out

 infested
 
Infested means invaded or inhabited in large numbers.

 inspected
 
Inspected means looked over or searched carefully.

 potential breeding sites
 
Potential means possible and breeding sites are places where mosquitoes could breed.

 picking up
 
catching; contracting; getting
 
Example: I picked up a cold at work.
 
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb pick up, follow the link.
 
more information: pick up

 larvae
 
Larvae are the young forms of any insect that changes into a different adult form. The singular is larva. The larvae of mosquitoes live in water and are are called wrigglers.

 found
 
Here found is the past participle of the irregular verb find. Follow the link to find out more and listen to some examples.
 
more information: find

 all clear
 
The all clear is an indication that a situation is no longer dangerous.
 
Example: The doctor has given me the all clear and I'll be back to work soon.
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 given
 
Given is the past participle of the irregular verb give. Follow the link for more information and to listen to examples.
 
more information: give

 keep a close eye on
 
To keep a close eye on something is to watch it carefully.
 
Example: Keep a close eye on the cake or it will burn.
 
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

 mozzie
 
Mozzie is the informal way of saying and writing mosquito.

 wiping out
 
eliminating; eradicating; getting rid of completely
 
Example: It's impossible to wipe out all the rabbits in Australia.
 
For examples you can listen to and more meanings of the phrasal verb wipe out, follow the link.
 
more information: wipe out
 
spotlight

Learn some ways to say eradicate.

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