Of the many unwelcome guests we have had to deal with over the holidays — mosquitos have to rank among the most annoying.
The number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – vectors for Dengue fever, Zika virus and Chikungunya – has reportedly grown far more than originally anticipated during the period between Christmas Eve and New Years’.
Collecting the data are 218 sensors strategically distributed throughout Buenos Aires, which the The Mosquito Study Group (GEM) of the College of Exact and Natural Sciences in the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) use to determine figures before relaying them to authorities.
The presence of these mosquitoes has been detected in 10 of Buenos Aires’ 15 comunas; including Caballito, Flores, Parque Chacabuco, Palermo, Chacarita, Villa Crespo, Paternal, Agronomía and Villa Ortúzar – of which four have worryingly registered an exact doubling in numbers.
According to the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health, it looks as though these figures are expected to continue rising in the coming weeks. However, the director of GEM, Nicolás Schweigmann, assures that this comes as a ‘notice’ rather than cause for panic, advising that the people of Buenos Aires make themselves aware of the conditions in that make it easier for mosquitoes to reproduce. Places where these awful little vectors tend to thrive in include still, sitting water in gutters, cable conduits, bins, and discarded material — especially during periods of high humidity – thus the need for cleanliness is being emphasised as the best means by which to prevent larvae-friendly environments.
Here are some preventative measures you can take at home
- Jugs of water and water troughs should have their water changed every three days.
- Cover or throw away any containers that can collect or hold water.
- Keep swimming pools clean, chlorinated or empty.
- Wear long-sleeved clothing and long trousers while outside.
- Keep your home as clean as possible.
- Should you spot any suspected breeding-grounds for mosquitoes, call line 147 for free.
Otherwise, if you find yourself or a family member with a high fever, it is advised that you do not self-medicate but go for consultation at hospital or the nearest health center as soon as possible.