Several species have learnt to breed and thrive in hostile conditions
Mosquitoes in Hyderabad have become smarter!
They have evolved and learnt to breed in hostile conditions. Once they were only confined to breeding in deposits of fresh stagnant water. These days, however, there are several species of mosquitoes that have evolved and breed even in sewerage water.
The mosquito species, Anopheles stephensi, a very common malaria vector, which usually breeds in fresh stagnant water is now able to multiply in sewage.
This finding of zoologists involved in research of mosquito-borne ailments in Hyderabad, has far reaching implications on public and officials involved in malaria control programme.
“Malaria is not a seasonal disease anymore. It has become endemic in Hyderabad. The most common vector stephensi can now breed in drain water. One should not be surprised if cases of malaria occur throughout the year in Hyderabad and not just during winter or monsoons,” says Researcher and Associate Professor (Zoology) Osmania University, Dr. B. Reddya Naik. A few years ago, extensive research was taken up by the team of Dr. Reddya Naik at several points along the banks of river Musi under the GHMC limits.
During the course of the research, the team had managed to identify different species of various genera of mosquitoes in Hyderabad.
In a way the drainage network has played its part in the rising population of mosquitoes in urban areas, the research team in its report concluded.
Constant choking and debris in drainage network leads to formation of tiny eddies and puddles, which are enough for the mosquitoes to breed, the research team said.
These mosquitoes cause a host of mosquito borne-diseases including malaria, chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis.
“Everyone involved in mosquito control programme has to realise that preventive measures to fight malaria and other ailments should be year long.
There is no use of fogging and efforts should be on controlling mosquito reproduction by targeting the breeding hot spots,” Dr. Reddya Naik pointed out.
Many also pointed out the need to have a sustained effort to control mosquito breeding.
“Mosquito breeding can be controlled if only done throughout the year. It’s not just the government, even general public, private companies and NGOs should come forward in this endeavour. Then only, we can win the fight,” feels former District Malaria Officer, Govardhan Rao.