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Epidemiological surveillance system for lepidopterism by Hylesia metabus in Sucre state, Venezuela.

Abstract

Butterflies (Lepidoptera) can sometimes cause discomfort, Hylesia metabus is a nocturnal butterfly, characterized by hair shedding during flight causing dermatitis and various allergic reactions (Lepidopterism) in the population. In Venezuela, cyclical invasions of H. metabus in the northeast of the country cause a public health problem, requiring vigilance to guide control efforts. In this work, a description of the activities for the epidemiological surveillance of H. metabus and lepidopterism in Sucre state was made. Through a documentary review, 154 documents referring to the surveillance of H. metabus and lepidopterism, issued by the Ministry of Popular Power for Health, were studied. A clear and precise definition of the event was evidenced, the actions for monitoring the evolutionary phases of H. metabus are well defined; however, activities for the monitoring of lepidopterism cases are not clearly established. There was an adequate collection and flow of information regarding the evolutionary phases of the butterfly, but little data collection regarding the cases of lepidopterism. The information flow mechanism was based on communications and eventual technical reports and only at the state health level were data consolidation and analysis activities carried out. In conclusion, the activities for monitoring the evolutionary phases of the butterfly are clearly defined, but there is a deficiency in the surveillance of lepidopterism. Weaknesses are observed for the epidemiological surveillance of H. metabus.