Chasing the mosquito

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Aedes aegypti, water, and households: chasing the mosquitos in the Urban South

In 2014 and 2015 various outbreaks of dengue were reported in Mozambique. In countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Colombia, there have also been outbreaks of dengue, zika and chikungunya. High percentages of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that most effectively transmits these diseases, were found in cities such as Pemba, Maputo, Barranquilla, and Buenaventura. Dengue, zika and chikungunya, and their transmission vector, mosquito Aedes aegypti are tied to water as this mosquito lays eggs in stored water in or around households. After they breed they do not always parade through the city like other mosquitos, but they hide inside households, behind doors and corners (Higa et al., 2015).

Besides being tied to water, Aedes aegypti are also tied to climate change. Studies have warned of the possibility that climate change might increase the likelihood of diseases spread by insects in new areas , as temperature can affect the distribution of the mosquito and the effectiveness of the virus transmission and rainfall can increase surface water (providing breeding sites for more mosquitos) (Hunter, 2003). The pattern of dengue’s spread has changed through the years, as the mosquito has adapted to new processes of economic, political, and social change (Higa et al., 2015; Nading, 2012, 2014).

By staying close to humans and adapting its biting periods to those of human activities, female mosquitoes can develop and lay eggs in aquatic habitats easily found in cities (Beaty et al., 2016; Gubler, 2011). Stagnant or stored water buckets, tanks, drums, cisterns, flower vases, pools, tires, and other man-made containers provide the needed cultivation habitat, where larvae will develop shortly into adult versions of the mosquito. This project uses an ethnographic approach to study households, water supply availability, intermittence and distribution, and document politics and everyday community strategies to obtain and store water. It focuses on the interdependence between intermittent water supply, deficient solid waste collection, and the Aedes aegypti. It also takes into account the different legacies left by civil wars and rural crises on processes of unequal urbanization. It doing so, the project engages with multiple actors: local and national regulators and state officials, water services providers, non-governmental organizations, and the different communities in the cities’ neighbourhoods.

References

Beaty, B. J., Black, W. C., Eisen, L., Flores, A. E., García-Rejón, J. E., Loroño-Pino, M., & Saavedra-Rodriguez, K. (2016). The intensifying storm: domestication of Aedes aegypti, urbanization of arboviruses, and emerging insecticide resistance. In B.G. Health (Ed.),Forum on Microbial Threats. Global Health Impacts of Vector-Borne Diseases: Workshop Summary. Washington: National Academies Press.

Gubler, D. (2011). Dengue, Urbanization and Globalization: The Unholy Trinity of the 21st Century. Tropical Medicine and Health, 39 (4), 3–11.

Higa et al. (2015). Abundant Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti aegypti mosquitoes in the 2014 dengue outbreak area of Mozambique. Tropical Medicine and Health, [Advance Publication] Released 2015/01/19.

Hunter, P. R. (2003). Climate change and waterborne and vector-borne disease. Journal of Applied  Microbiology, 94, 38S-46S.

Nading, A. M. (2012). DENGUE MOSQUITOES ARE SINGLE MOTHERS: Biopolitics Meets Ecological Aesthetics in NicaraguanCommunity Health Work.Cultural Anthropology, 27 (4), 572–596

Nading, A. M. (2014). Mosquito Trails: Ecology, Health, and the Politics of Entanglement. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Aedes aegypti, água e Agregados familiares: Perseguindo os mosquitos no Sul Urbano

Em 2014 e 2015, vários surtos de dengue foram relatados em Moçambique. Nos países da América Latina e do Caribe, como a Colômbia, também houve surtos de dengue, zika e chikungunya. As altas percentagens de Aedes aegypti, o mosquito que transmite mais eficazmente essas doenças, foram encontradas em cidades como Pemba, Maputo, Barranquilla e Buenaventura.
Dengue, zika e chikungunya, e seu vetor de transmissão, o mosquito Aedes aegypti estão associados à água, pois este mosquito coloca ovos em água armazenada dentro dos agregados familiares. Depois de porem ovos, os mosquitos nem sempre passam pela cidade como outros mosquitos, mas se escondem dentro dos agregados familiares, atrás de portas e cantos (Higa et al., 2015). Além de estarem associados à água, Aedes aegypti também está ligada à mudança climática. Estudos alertaram sobre a possibilidade de que as mudanças climáticas possam aumentar a probabilidade de doenças transmitidas por insetos em novas áreas, dado que a temperatura pode afetar a distribuição do mosquito e a eficácia da transmissão do vírus e as chuvas podem aumentar a água superficial (criando locais de reprodução para mais mosquitos) (Hunter, 2003).

O padrão de disseminação da dengue mudou ao longo dos anos, dado que o mosquito se adaptou a novos processos de mudança econômica, política e social (Higa et al., 2015; Nading, 2012, 2014). Ao ficar perto dos seres humanos e adaptar-se aos seus períodos de mordida às atividades humanas, os mosquitos femininos podem desenvolver e colocar ovos em habitats aquáticos facilmente encontrados nas cidades (Beaty et al., 2016; Gubler, 2011). A água estagnada, os baldes de água armazenados, tanques, tambores, cisternas, vasos de flores, piscinas, pneus e outros recipientes artificiais fornecem o habitat de reprodução necessária, onde as larvas se desenvolverão em pouco tempo em versões adultas do mosquito.

Este projeto usa uma abordagem etnográfica para estudar os agregados familiares, a disponibilidade de água, intermitência e distribuição e documentar políticas e estratégias comunitárias diárias para obter e armazenar água. O projecto se concentra na interdependência entre o abastecimento de água intermitente, a coleta de resíduos sólidos e o Aedes aegypti. O projecto também leva em conta os diferentes legados deixados pelas guerras civis e crises rurais em processos de urbanização desigual. Ao fazê-lo, o projeto envolve múltiplos atores: reguladores locais e nacionais e funcionários do Estado, provedores de serviços de água, organizações não-governamentais e as diferentes comunidades nos bairros das cidades.

Referências bibliográficas

Beaty, B. J., Black, W. C., Eisen, L., Flores, A. E., García-Rejón, J. E., Loroño-Pino, M., & Saavedra-Rodriguez, K. (2016). The intensifying storm: domestication of Aedes aegypti, urbanization of arboviruses, and emerging insecticide resistance. In B. o. G. Health (Ed.), Forum on Microbial Threats. Global Health Impacts of Vector-Borne Diseases: Workshop Summary. . Washington: National Academies Press.

Gubler, D. (2011). Dengue, Urbanization and Globalization: The Unholy Trinity of the 21st Century. Tropical Medicine and Health, 39(4), 3–11.

Higa et al. (2015). Abundant Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti aegypti mosquitoes in the 2014 dengue outbreak area of Mozambique. Tropical Medicine and Health, [Advance Publication] Released 2015/01/19.

Hunter, P. R. (2003). Climate change and waterborne and vector-borne disease. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 94, 38S-46S.

Nading, A. M. (2012). DENGUE MOSQUITOES ARE SINGLE MOTHERS: Biopolitics Meets Ecological Aesthetics in NicaraguanCommunity Health Work. Cultural Anthropology, 27(4), 572–596.

Nading, A. M. (2014). Mosquito Trails: Ecology, Health, and the Politics of Entanglement. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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