Mumbai city normally gets a rainfall of around 2200mm in a year during the entire monsoon period. However, this year suburban Mumbai and south Mumbai itself have received in excess of sixty percent rainfall and the monsoon withdrawal is only expected around the second week of October.
With the monsoon season, the activity of mosquitoes increases. That happens every year warm and wet conditions during the monsoon rains are what mosquitoes like. However, this year mosquito season could be worse than ever, thanks to the pandemic and few weather factors that affect mosquito activity. Heavy rains and flooding generally contribute to the spreading of all vector-borne diseases. However, it gets increasingly difficult to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes when stagnant water is everywhere after heavy rain.
The monsoon and more torrential rains than usual could lead to soaring in mosquito population and movement, especially as the proper preventative measures had taken a hit due to COVID-19.
Disruptions due to COVID -19
This year, due to the shortage of manpower and absenteeism of staff due to pandemic most of the available hands were pressed into pandemic related duties. The Municipal Insecticide department which carries out mosquito control related activity has worked to a large extent in disinfecting government offices, residential areas, police stations and hospitals where COVID-19 positive cases have been diagnosed.
Similarly mosquito screening, checking of water tanks along with other possible breeding sites were hampered to a large extent as health workers who would destroy mosquito breeding sites were also screening people for viruses. Lack of preparation time for the mosquito season, which may result in more breeding spots and a higher population.
Dengue surveillance has suffered across the city and its suburbs.
Aedes Aegypti the mosquito that spreads dengue is most prevalent in urban cities and its suburbs due to rapid urbanizations and warming temperatures due to climate changes means that its range would only be enhancing.
According to experts the COVID-19 pandemic has brought home quite a few variables.
Working from Home (WFH) poses a greater risk for spreading dengue since aedes mosquito bites during the day and with increasing number of people staying at home the likelihood of being bitten by mosquitoes is more where the mosquito population is more.
Thus, the disruption by COVID-19 would only heighten the risk of mosquito related diseases.
The heat extremes and the rising of the sea level will continue to disrupt the established weather patterns, which affects the activity of mosquitoes as well as the spreading of vector-borne diseases.
It is why this mosquito season will likely sting more than any other. Prevention is crucial, so other than using insect nets and long sleeves when you’re outside, you should think about protecting your home. Sterling Pest Control offers a mosquito treatment that will help battle the invasion of these blood-sucking pests.