In 2015, an outbreak of Zika virus spread across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Public health programs promoted vector control behaviors, including covering water storage containers with lids. Such approaches disrupt Zika transmission by eliminating the habitats of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds in stagnant water.
A quantitative household survey and observation checklist with trained enumerators were undertaken between August and October 2018 in selected urban/peri-urban USAID implementation communities in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The survey included questions regarding knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to Zika virus. An accompanying checklist was implemented to observe water storage containers, including for short-term and long-term water use. The characteristics of these containers were tabulated, including the presence of a lid. The lids were examined for key features to determine their potential effectiveness to prevent mosquito breeding: fully covering and sealing the container, not having holes, and not having water on them (potentially creating a secondary breeding site). Multivariate logistic regression was used to estimate the effectiveness of lid types and characteristics on the presence of larvae.
Overall, in adjusted models, using an effective lid versus no lid was associated with a 94% decrease in odds of larval presence in long-term water storage containers (odds ratio = 0.06; 95% confidence interval [0.029, 0.152]); however, similar impacts were not observed for washbasins in the adjusted models. Models adjusted for household wealth, receiving a visit from a vector control technician, scrubbing the container in the last 7 days, and perception of more mosquitoes around.
Effective lids, if made available and coupled with complementary behavioral messaging, may reduce transmission of Zika and other Aedes mosquito-borne diseases in the LAC region.