Amid scorching temperatures that have lasted for weeks, the count of Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes that causes Japanese encephalitis is found to be significantly lower this year than last year.
According to the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday, the number of Culex tritaeniorhynchus mosquitoes that were collected during the 28th week (July 8 – 14) of this year was eight on average, down by 71.4 percent from 28 that was recorded during the same period of last year.
Experts say that the significant drop in the count of Japanese encephalitis mosquitoes is due to a continuing heat wave. Hot weather dries up puddles where mosquitoes can lay eggs, while mosquito larvae grow faster in higher water temperatures but their longevity declines. “Japanese encephalitis mosquitoes lay eggs mostly in rice paddies and ditches, and rice paddies have dried up amid hot weather, a large number of larvae are believed to have died,” said Lee Dong-gyu, emeritus professor of health and environment science at Kosin University.
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