WHO Ups Battle Against Deadly Mosquitoes

The eradication of malaria mosquitoes will become part of global efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals as researchers and governments step up efforts on vector control.

A conference on neglected tropical diseases in London, United Kingdom, today heard that efforts to combat malaria, dengue and other vector-borne diseases are slowly shifting from focusing on bite prevention in humans to killing the mosquitoes that transmit the parasites. This is because populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes - especially the Aedes type that carries malaria, yellow fever, dengue and Zika - are growing worldwide, attendees warned.

"Climate change favours Aedes mosquitoes," said Raman Velayudhan, the coordinator for neglected tropical diseases at the World Health Organization (WHO). He said this is because the mosquito can breed in almost any kind of water source, even puddles, and its eggs can survive for up to 400 days in dry soil.

"Floods mean they have more breeding grounds, but droughts also cause Aedes populations to grow because you have more stored water in pots," Velayudhan said.

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Katja Schulz

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