Record Heat in Italy Causes Surge in Mosquitoes Even in Autumn Months
Unseasonably warm temperatures in Italy have led to a surge in mosquito populations, even as autumn progresses. The temperatures have been recorded as 3.15 degrees higher than the historical average for October, and the upward trend continues into November. This extended warm weather has prolonged the season of annoying insects, which remain prevalent in many Italian cities in recent weeks. The Italian Society of Environmental Medicine warns that the situation may persist until Christmas, posing potential health risks.
The president of the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine, Alessandro Miani, explained that the unusually warm temperatures have created favorable conditions for the survival and reproduction of mosquito eggs. Adult mosquitoes are also able to remain alive, reproduce, and multiply due to the mild autumn weather. This phenomenon applies to resilient mosquito species such as the Japanese and Korean mosquitoes, as well as the more common Culex pipiens and Aedes albopictus. Italy is home to approximately 60 species of mosquitoes, out of over 3 thousand species found worldwide.
The prolonged presence of mosquitoes poses health risks to citizens. Miani warned that unless there is a significant drop in temperatures, mosquitoes could continue to be a problem in some areas of the country until Christmas. The increased mosquito population not only causes inconvenience but also raises concerns about the spread of diseases. Mosquitoes are known to transmit serious diseases, such as dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses. As of November 6, 2023, Italy has already reported 306 cases of Dengue, 7 cases of Zika Virus, 7 cases of Chikungunya, and 44 cases of neuro-invasive infection.
The continued presence of mosquitoes due to record heat in Italy is a cause for concern, and authorities are advising citizens to take precautions to protect themselves from potential health risks.