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AC temp between 24°C and 28°C can lead dengue mosquitoes breeding in your home, climate expert warns

“The ideal temperature for mosquito breeding is in the range of 24-28 degrees Celsius and many a times, air conditioners inside houses are set at a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, which helps in breeding and survival of the dengue-transmitting Aedes mosquitoes,” said Dr Ramesh C Dhiman, senior consultant at DST- ICMR center of excellence for climate change and vector-borne diseases at the Indian council of medical research (ICMR-NIMR), Delhi.

pune Updated: Apr 23, 2018 14:50 IST
Jui Dharwadkar
Jui Dharwadkar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Dengue,mosquito
Scientists have highlighted the need to study climatic factors associated with certain vector-borne diseases and to determine the climatic thresholds due to which these diseases can result in indigenous transmission. (Pratham Gokhale/HT File Photo)

Your air conditioner might be the biggest cause of dengue mosquito breeding in your home. “The ideal temperature for mosquito breeding is in the range of 24-28 degrees Celsius and many a times, air conditioners inside houses are set at a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius, which helps in breeding and survival of the dengue-transmitting Aedes mosquitoes,” said Dr Ramesh C Dhiman, senior consultant at DST- ICMR center of excellence for climate change and vector-borne diseases at the Indian council of medical research (ICMR-NIMR), Delhi, in an interview to Hindustan Times.

Dr Dhiman was present at the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum-12 at IITM, Pune, held on Friday and said that the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures is important for analysing breeding of dengue/malaria mosquitoes.

Scientists have highlighted the need to study climatic factors associated with certain vector-borne diseases and to determine the climatic thresholds due to which these diseases can result in indigenous transmission.

“Mosquitoes associated with various vector-borne diseases breed outside, but mosquitoes which cause dengue breed in containers. If the temperature of the container is found to be in the range of 24-28 degrees Celsius, then, the dengue transmitting Aedes mosquitoes can breed optimally,” said Dr Dhiman.

Presently in over three months, the number of dengue cases registered with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) are 123. Out of these, 25 have so far been confirmed. Cases of chikungunya registered at the PMC from January 1 to April 22 are 12.

With temperature being an important factor associated with breeding of mosquitoes, analysing effects of temperature has also become important.

In recent years, many vector-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya have become all-season diseases with cases being witnessed even during summer and winter. Thresholds of rainfall which result in malaria outbreaks have been determined for some districts and similar thresholds can also be determined for dengue outbreaks, believe scientists.

“Vector-borne diseases are a considerable threat to human health resulting in illness and mortality. Today cases of malaria, dengue and chikungunya are reported in many parts of the country which had not been affected earlier. To address this issue of rising vector-borne diseases, analysing climatic conditions and giving warnings based on the climatic parameters is important,” said Dhiman.

-Mosquitoes associated with various vector-borne diseases breed outside but dengue causing mosquitoes breed in containers inside homes.

-The ideal temperature for mosquito breeding is in the range from 24-28 degrees Celsius.

-Air conditioners inside houses set at a temperature of 24 degrees Celsius can help in breeding and survival of dengue transmitting Aedes mosquitoes.

First Published: Apr 23, 2018 14:22 IST