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Smart bug

Trevor Yearwood

Smart bug

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A smarter, hardier strain of mosquito and climate change have apparently combined to sharply increase the number of dengue cases in Barbados.
By September 21, confirmed dengue cases had jumped to 604, compared to 233, in the same period last year, and Chief Medical Officer Dr Joy St John indicated yesterday that climate change had something to do with the increase.
“In Barbados, the mosquito is developing and going through its cycle of maturity faster, so the mosquitoes are, we believe, affected by climate change,” she told a news conference at the Ministry of Health in Culloden Road, St Michael.
“So the effect of the climate change on the mosquito is probably part of the reason why we have seen some of this increase as well. It’s almost like a perfect storm because we also have the issue of the rainfall, the issue of less than exemplary practices, because this mosquito is domesticated.”
St John also said “this particular strain of the dengue virus has not been around in circulation, so there are several Barbadians who can now be affected by the strain No. 1 and so that is why we are seeing so many cases.