Climate change increases mosquito population-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
CLIMATE change has recently altered the reproductive habits and biting characteristics of dengue carrying mosquitoes.
Dr. Alexei Marrero of the Department of Health (DOH)-Cordillera said a recent World Health Organization report showed the adaptive capability of dengue-carrying vectors due to climate change such as increased reproduction rates and more frequent biting.
Marrero said dengue-carrying mosquitoes tend to reproduce rapidly in clear stagnant water.
With this change in habits of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, the rate of transmission will increase more and, Marrero said, this could trigger outbreaks in just a short span of time.
In the region, the DOH has monitored clustering of cases or more than three cases in Dominican-Mirador village in Baguio; Virac in Itogon, Camp 4 in Tuba, Balili and Bahong in La Trinidad, Benguet; Poblacion East, North, West in Ifugao and Nambaran in Tabuk City, Kalinga.
Data from the DOH regional monitoring office show a three percent increase in dengue cases compared to last year for the period of January 1 to June 15 this year from 675 suspected dengue cases monitored in 2011 to 698 suspected dengue cases this year.
Provinces with increase suspected dengue cases are Apayao, Benguet and Ifugao, the DOH monitored.
He advised local government officials and concerned residents, particularly in areas where there are clustered cases, to practice 4S: Search and destroy breeding grounds of mosquitoes, Seek early consultation, Self-protection and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.
He said indiscriminate fogging only drives away mosquitoes but does not kill them.
Parents are also advised to let their children use insect repellant lotions during daytime as dengue-carrying mosquitoes often bite at daytime.
Eradicating breeding sites of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes is also important in disposing possible stagnant water breeding areas specifically plants like bromeliads.
Regular cleaning of these breeding grounds is important in further decreasing cases of dengue in the community, he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 21, 2012.