Expert warns of Zika risk in Istanbul

Expert warns of Zika risk in Istanbul

Expert warns of Zika risk in Istanbul

The number of “Aedes” mosquitoes capable of carrying the Zika virus has increased in all coasts of the country, especially in Istanbul, Kenan Midilli, a professor from Istanbul University’s Cerrahpaşa Medicine Faculty, has warned.

“Aedes mosquitoes, which were common in Africa and Asia and transmit the Zika virus, have now spread to almost all our coasts due to climate change,” said Midilli, underlining that only the spraying method will not yield clear results.

A wide variety of methods need to be used together, according to Midilli as the spraying method is not a successful method in long-term.

“Since they can even use areas such as the water in the tires of the cars and in the bottom of the pots to reproduce, it is necessary to dry the puddles around,” said Midilli, adding that there are biological methods to drain the swamps, such as fish that eat mosquito larvae.

Mosquitoes cause the transmission of many diseases, the professor added.

“The other species in question for Istanbul is Culex, which has existed here before and can infect West Nile fever,” he said, reiterating that there has been no case in the country since 2020.

The residents of a neighborhood in Istanbul’s Avcılar district, where the number of mosquitoes have increased recently, noted that children bitten by mosquitoes, whose number has increased due to a stream close to the area, developed sores due to itching.

Calling the authorities for action against the situation, Mehmet Dalayan, one of the residents, said, “We stay awake until 3 a.m. because of the mosquitos. We can’t stand itching and take medicine. We want this problem to be solved.”

The symptoms of the Zika virus are generally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache, which typically last for between two and seven days, according to World Health Organization (WHO).

No vaccine is yet available for the prevention or treatment of Zika virus infection, which remains an active area of research.