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The presence of African snails in Morro da Fumaca leaves the population on alert

The presence of African snails in Morro da Fumaca leaves the population on alert

After receiving numerous complaints about the presence of the African snail, the Morro da Fumaka Sanitary Surveillance carried out an action in the municipality to control and control the plague. Specialists from the agency visited homes, in key places with outbreaks reported, to instruct and alert residents about the dangers posed by the worm and the correct way to eradicate it.

According to the Coordinator of Health Surveillance in Morro da Fumaça, Patrícia Satiro Zanette, any citizen can request the presence of the Agency to assess the situation and receive instructions on the necessary precautions. “The health control does not carry out the eradication of African snails in private and public places. He explained that the work of the department is carried out through guidance and notification to remove the plague.

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about species

The African snail, as it is popularly known, is a terrestrial mollusk, illegally introduced in Brazil, coming from Africa. Since the country has no natural predators, it has multiplied uncontrollably, and has become one of the worst invasive species, causing ecological, economic, and public health impacts.

“Because they are an exotic species, being larger and eating almost anything, they outcompete competition for space and food with native species. They still have a high growth and reproduction rate, and they act as a host of different parasites that cause, for example, meningitis.” After they die, the empty shell of the African snail can accumulate water and serve as a reservoir for the larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue, yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya,” explains the curator.

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Health Surveillance Endemic Diseases Undersecretary Rut Laurentino Martinez warns of forms of zoonotic disease transmission via African snails. “This could be due to consuming food on which infected slugs have crawled, hence the importance of washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly, or when handling snails and putting your hand in your mouth. To eliminate pests, it is always necessary to use gloves to protect the skin and mucous membranes. If you have contact accidental, wash thoroughly with soap and water,” he points out.

The professional points out that poison should not be used to eliminate the worm, given the risk of poisoning people and animals, since collecting and destroying snails and eggs is the only effective method. The African snail should be crushed with a hammer or similar and buried with lime or salt. To avoid infection, it is always important to keep the grounds clean,” says Root.

The African snail should not be confused with the native species. In addition to being an environmental crime, eliminating Brazilian slugs can cause a biological imbalance. The crust of the lesion is oblong, pointed, and darker in colour. To answer questions and receive instructions, residents can contact the Morro da Fumaca Health Control Office by phone (48) 3434-2442 or via e-mail [email protected].