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Mosquito menace about to get bigger

2009. 14 July

( Super mosquitoes, hundreds of times more resistant to insecticide than normal, are posing problems for disease control experts in Shanghai.

Officials from the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention found the hardy pests when carrying out spot checks, they said yesterday.

They say the overuse of pesticides is to blame for the resistant strain and are now studying ways of dealing with the problem.

"Keeping a clean environment and eliminating standing water, the mosquitoes' breeding bed, are the most useful ways to control mosquitoes," said Dr Leng Peien, director of the center's vector control department. "Every resident and company should take part in the battle for their own health."

July is the annual mosquito peak in Shanghai and a 10-day citywide campaign against mosquitoes and flies will start tomorrow to prevent and control vector-born infectious diseases and prepare for the 2010 World Expo.

The campaign will involve clearing possible breeding sites and spraying.

A drill will be launched in three subdistricts next to the Expo zone to deal with a simulated outbreak of mosquito-born diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and encephalitis B.

Disease control officials said the density of mosquitoes this year was so far lower than previous years but some areas already had problems.

Officials also called for more awareness about encephalitis B, which mainly affected children under 14.

Shanghai usually has 13 to 14 cases a year with most victims migrant children who weren't vaccinated. "Migrant parents should take their children for vaccination in time. It is free," Leng said.