Knowledge and beliefs about dengue transmission and their relationship with prevention practices in Hermosillo, Sonora

Carmen Arellano, Lucía Castro, Rolando E. Díaz-Caravantes, Kacey C. Ernst, Mary Hayden, Pablo Reyes-Castro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Dengue is an emerging threat in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Transmission has regularly occurred in Sonora, MX since 1982 but it was not until 2014that cities directly on the Arizona-Sonora border had local transmission. One of the closest urban areas to have regular seasonal transmission is Hermosillo, SN, MX.Developing a better understanding of the knowledge and perceptions of dengue in close geographic proximity to the border can identify areas to target for prevention and control measures. Methods:We conducted focus groups in six neighborhoods in Hermosillo, SN,MX; three with high-dengue transmission and three with lower transmission. Awareness of dengueand experience with dengue was common. Results: In all focus groups, discussants reported knowing someone personally who had past dengue infection. We further identified several key ways that the perceptions of dengue transmission could influence the effectiveness of dengue control campaigns. First, there was confusion about how dengue is transmitted. While people associated dengue with mosquitoes, multiple modes of transmission were perceived including direct person-to-person transmission. In one focus group, discussants indicated a stigma surrounding dengue infection. The necessity to maintain cleanliness in their households was identified as a primary strategy to fight dengue; however, participants also noted the limited impact and their actions may have on transmission if there is lack of community support or governmental infrastructure to control neighboring and public spaces. Conclusion: As dengue risk increases in the border region, more efforts should be made to clearly convey the single mode of transmission of dengue to avoid the development of stigma. More coordinated efforts should be made to not only control but also prevent dengue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number142
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
Issue numberJUN
StatePublished - Jun 3 2015


  • Attitudes
  • Dengue
  • Focus groups
  • Knowledge
  • Transmission
  • U.S.-mexico border

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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