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Whitman College

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Ecuador: Comparative Ecology and Conservation


This study took place in Puerto López, Manabí, Ecuador and focuses primarily on the level of knowledge the townspeople have about dengue and how it is transmitted. It also looks at the incidence of dengue in the town and across neighborhoods. In order to carry out this study, I spent a month living in the coastal town of Puerto López and interviewed 50 townspeople – 10 in each of the five neighborhoods of Jonas Gonzalez, Miraflores, Luís Gencón, San Alejo, and the central neighborhood. Interviewees were questioned about their past history of dengue, as well as their knowledge of the disease and its transmission. I also interviewed a doctor in the Centro de Salud and a member of the Municipality for more information. Results indicated a relatively low level of dengue in Puerto López, with no large changes in the incidence in the last five years. The knowledge of the people about the disease and its transmission was found to be satisfactory in terms of identifying the organism that transmits the disease and how it reproduces, but lacking in regards to which mosquito transmits dengue, how it becomes infected with dengue, what it looks like, and when it bites. Overall, the education of the people could be increased in order to improve preventative measures and lower the incidence of dengue. This would be particularly important to do now given that global warming will add greater risk of mosquito-borne diseases.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Health and Medical Administration | Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Virus Diseases


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