Sting in the hot, dry weather

PHOTO: Sting in the hot, dry weather

PETALING JAYA - The Aedes mosquito is more aggressive and bites more frequently in hot and dry weather, according to a dengue expert.

Prof Dr Sazaly Abu Bakar, who is with the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Arbovirus Research and Reference at UniverĀ­siti Malaya, said the lack of water makes the mosquitoes more aggressive.

"They will breed and grow faster although their life cycle will be shorter and they will bite more often," he warned.

He said many people would leave the doors and windows open in the hot weather, enabling mosquitoes to enter their homes more easily.

"They should protect themselves by putting mesh screens over doors and windows," he said.

Dr Sazaly said there had been a spike in dengue cases at the Universiti Malaya Specialist Centre, with about 300 recorded per week last month, similar to the peak in cases recorded in March.

He advised people to stay indoors during dusk and dawn and use mosquito repellent when outdoors.

"People should wear light-coloured clothing as dark colours attract mosquitoes," he added.

Dr Sazaly said homes and the surroundings should be checked for containers or places where there was stagnant water.

"During the hot and dry season, any pool of water left by rain attracts mosquitoes to breed.

"Aedes mosquitoes can even breed in an amount of water the size of a 20 sen coin," he said.

He also advised the public with family members running a high fever to take extra precaution because the Aedes mosquito could spread dengue if it sucked blood from the sick person and then bit another.