Tuesday January 22, 2019

Dengue mosquitoes breed more on water near flowers

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New York: New research has found that the eggs of mosquitoes who are known to transfer diseases such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever and chikungunya are mostly found in water resources near flowers.

The researchers studied the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).

“This study provides evidence of the attractiveness of flowering butterfly bushes to ovipositing (i.e., egg-laying) Aedes albopictus,” said one of the study authors Timothy Davis from the University of Florida in the US.

Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in containers, so the first thing the scientists decided to test was whether the size of the containers made any difference.

They were also curious about whether or not the presence of flowers might affect the egg-laying behaviour, due to the fact that mosquitoes drink nectar from flowers.

The researchers studied female mosquitoes that had been fed bloodmeals and released in large cages with water containers flowering butterfly bushes.

They found significantly more eggs in the largest containers, and they found more eggs in containers next to flowering bushes than in containers without flowers.

These findings could lead to new methods of controlling the mosquito.

“One of the potential outcomes of this study might be that someone could look at the flower fragrances as a way to lure egg-laying female mosquitoes to some sort of trap,” Phil Kaufman from University of Florida pointed out.

The researchers suggest that female mosquitoes lay eggs near flowers for a variety of possible reasons.

Nectar is an important energy source, so pregnant females are obviously attracted to the flowers in order to feed themselves.

But it could also have something to do with providing food for the next generation in the form of nectar.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.(IANS)

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Delhi Sees More Number of Dengue Cases This Winter Than The Last One

In 2015, Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak with more than 11,800 cases and 60 deaths, according to the city's civic bodies

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Aedes
Dengue is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes mosquito that typically attacks during day time. Pixabay

A new municipal report suggests that dengue cases have increased in the months of November and December this year compared to 2017.

According to the weekly report by the MCD released on Monday, 1,062 dengue cases were recorded in November 2018 while it was 816 in 2017. Even in December 2017, only 81 cases were reported in the national capital while this year 117 cases have already been reported till December 15. Forty-two fresh cases have been registered in the past one week.

So far, four deaths caused by dengue have been confirmed in Delhi which includes a 13-year-old girl from Wazirabad area. The other three cases are reported to be from west and north Delhi.

However, as per the report, 2,774 people have been diagnosed with the vector-borne disease in Delhi so far in 2018. However, the number is less than what it was in 2017 — 4,704.

Delhi sees more dengue cases this winter than last.

In 2015, Delhi saw its worst dengue outbreak with more than 11,800 cases and 60 deaths, according to the city’s civic bodies.

As for malaria, only one new case surfaced last week taking the toll to two till now for the month. In November, 33 malaria cases were reported in the city, according to the municipal report. So far, 473 malaria cases have come to light, while in 2017 it was 575.

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No new cases of chikungunya were reported this week keeping the total number of cases at 3 in the national capital while in November, there were 28 cases. Till date, a total of 164 chikungunya cases have been reported in the city compared to 551 in 2017. (IANS)