Traits Of The Dengue Mosquito
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the Dengue virus. Therefore, an awareness of the Dengue mosquito and the virus is very important for each one of us. Following are the traits of the Dengue mosquito:
1. The Emergence
The emergence of Dengue starts with the Aedes mosquito. The egg of an Aedes mosquito hatches into a larva in less than a day. The larva then takes about four days to develop into a pupa. From the pupa, an adult mosquito emerges after two days. Three days after the mosquito has bitten a person, it lays its eggs. From here, the cycle begins again.
An average life span for aides mosquito is approx 14 days, where once infected by the disease, it takes 4-7 day for the virus to develop and spread it through its bite.
Dengue has also been known to be caused by Aedes albopictus, Aedes polynesiensis and several other species of the Aedes scutellaris complex. Each of these species has their own ecology, behaviour and geographical distribution.
The eggs of the Aedes mosquito can lie dormant in dry conditions for up to about nine months. But after this time period, they can hatch if exposed to favourable conditions, i.e. water and food.
3. Time Period
The average lifespan of an Aedes mosquito in nature is two weeks. The mosquito becomes infective approximately seven days after it has bitten a person carrying the virus. This is called the incubation period. During this time period, the virus replicates in the mosquito and reaches the salivary glands. The peak biting happens usually at dawn and dusk.
4. Mosquito Bites
Only the female Aedes mosquito bites, as it needs the protein present in our blood to develop its eggs. It only takes one bite for a virus to be transmitted to the person. The male mosquitoes do not cause Dengue by biting.
The transmission of the virus takes place through the bite where the saliva of the mosquito is what carries the virus into the human body.
Dengue fever is caused by any one of the four Dengue viruses spread by mosquitoes that breed in and near human surroundings. When a mosquito bites a person infected with a Dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito. When this infected mosquito then bites another human being, the virus enters that person’s bloodstream and gives birth to the disease called Dengue. It is to be noted that dengue fever doesn’t infect the mosquito, they are just a carrier of the virus.
The Aedes mosquitoes live in tropical, subtropical and temperate climates. Because these mosquitoes live near and breed on animals and human beings, they tend to spread viruses like Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika easily.
Mosquito-borne diseases are spreading across the nations. Therefore, several preventive measures were introduced. But the traditional mosquito control methods for Aedes mosquito are not sufficiently reducing the number of these mosquitoes and are slowly becoming ineffective. Moreover, Aedes aegypti has already developed resistance to many common insecticides and this resistance to insecticides will be passed on to the future Aedes generations as well.
Aedes mosquitoes breed intensively in and around the human habitations. Not just gutters or water tanks, these mosquitoes can breed in as small a space as a water bottle even. These Aedes mosquitoes have primarily become urban dwellers. Therefore, any city or village could be a target. It is about a water body, not the condition of the water itself. Any stagnant water, in any amount is good.
Knowing about the characteristics of Aedes mosquitoes should help us in preventing and doing our bit in order to reduce the augmentation of Dengue disease.