AIRLINES, including TAP and easyJet, flying to and from Madeira will have to disinfect their planes against the mosquito that carries the potentially deadly dengue virus.
The companies started spraying the insides of aircraft leaving the tourist destination with insecticide against the aedes aegipty mosquito which carries the dengue virus, which causes stomach cramps, high fevers, nausea, diarrhoea and, in severe cases, respiratory failure and death.
Measures recommended by the Directorate-General of Health, Direcção-Geral da Saude-DGS, being applied by different handling operators working closely in conjunction with airlines linking Madeira to Portugal and other destinations were made obligatory on November 1.
According to Duarte Ferreira, ANA Madeira Archipelago Airports Administrator, sprays containing products such as d-phenothrin are being used on board as soon as plane doors are closed before take-off.
Meanwhile the opposition to the Madeira government, run by João Alberto Jardim, has accused it of “grossly underestimating the possible public health danger of the disease by acting so late.”
The government is to now launch a public competitive tendering bid for up to five private companies to regularly spray all flights in and out of Madeira and Porto Santo airports.
Although no cases of dengue fever have broken out on the island the mosquito, which carries the virus, is known to have spread there from other parts of the world.
The Portuguese Department of Health has issued a statement saying that the likelihood of anyone contracting the illness from going on holiday in Madeira was “remote”.
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]