Behavioural advice

...for the prevention of insect-borne diseases

The following are a series of personal prevention measures against insects drawn up by the Italian Ministry of Health:

  • Avoid staying outside in the evening or at night;
  • Wear pale-coloured clothes (dark and bright colours attract insects), with long sleeves and long trousers, covering most of the body;
  • Avoid the use of perfumes (they could attract insects);
  • Apply repellent lotion on exposed parts of the body to keep insects away. Insect repellents and pyrethroid-based insecticides can also be sprayed directly onto clothing;
  • Preferably stay in rooms with air-conditioning or, in its absence, in rooms with mosquito nets on the windows, ensuring that these are intact and well-closed;
  • Use mosquito nets over the bed, tucking the edges under the mattress after making sure that no mosquitoes have remained inside. It is very advisable to apply permethrin-based insecticides to the mosquito nets
  • Spray pyrethrum-based and permethrin-based insecticides in the living room and bedrooms, or use insecticide diffusers (electrical or battery-powered), which have cartridges containing pyrethroids, or pyrethrine mosquito coils.
  • It is necessary to use insecticide products carefully, being careful, for example, not to apply them to irritated or broken skin, and being particularly prudent with children or in indoor environments, etc.

...for the prevention of foodborne diseases

The World Health Organization has set down 10 points for the prevention of foodborne diseases:

  • choose products that have undergone suitable treatments to ensure their safety (for example, pasteurised or UHT milk);
  • cook food thoroughly so that all parts, even the innermost ones, reach a temperature of at least 70°C;
  • consume food immediately after cooking;
  • cooked foods, if not consumed immediately, must be stored in the refrigerator for a limited time: if the food needs be stored for a long time, it is preferable to freeze it;
  • previously-cooked food must be heated quickly and at a high temperature before consumption;
  • avoid any contact between raw and cooked foods;
  • be scrupulous with hand hygiene when handling food;
  • ensure that all kitchen surfaces, utensils and containers are cleaned thoroughly;
  • protect food from insects, rodents and other animals;
  • use only drinking water.
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