Based on a recent news report from The Star, the El Nino phenomenon, which is expected to hit Malaysia until end of this year, may increase the risk of infecting vector borne diseases such as dengue and malaria. According to the Health Minister, despite all the anti-dengue efforts, the number of cases continues to increase significantly due to the weather condition, which has become rather conducive for mosquito breeding. As of 19th July 2014, dengue has surged up to a shocking growth of 252% with 51,987 cases, and claimed 94 lives compared to 14,755 cases and 29 deaths, during the same period last year.
El Nino happens when the water temperature rises on the surface of the tropical Pacific Ocean. This unusual occurrence usually happens every 2 to 5 years. As the ocean is one of the biggest influences to our weather, it induces a dramatic effect on the climate around the globe and consequently, causing the weather to be warmer and drier than usual
The climate and temperature change could influence the population and behavior of the vector mosquito carrying the virus, thus potentially increasing the virus’s replication at the same time.
Warmer temperatures might increase the infestation by allowing mosquitoes’ larvae reach maturity much faster than usual, thus shorten the virus incubation period.
As the numbers of cases keep soaring, it is important to take some proactive measurements to protect you and your family from the risk of mosquito bites. Here are some tips on what you can do to minimise mosquitoes’ breeding spots around your home.
To learn more about mosquito infestation in Malaysia, please download the infographic here.