UIJEONGBU, Jul. 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Perhaps due to the string of extremely hot and sultry days, mosquitoes have all but disappeared, causing a drop in the number of malaria patients nationwide.
According to an announcement by the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday, the total number of patients diagnosed with malaria this month was 94.
The number of malaria patients typically increases steadily in April and May before peaking in July. There were 151 malaria patients in 2015, 162 patients in 2016 and 133 patients last year, all in the month of July.
But the number of malaria patients in July of this year is expected to be lower than the 130 recorded last year, which was a new low.
Experts say that the reason why the number of malaria cases has dropped this month is because the extremely hot temperatures recently have had a significant impact on the mosquito population.
The number of mosquito samples collected in traps installed in Paju, Gimpo and 10 other areas by the Institute of Health & Environment to track anopheles sinensis, a type of mosquito that is known to transmit malaria, were found to have decreased substantially compared to the same period last year.
The number of the pesky insects caught between June 24 and July 14 was 3,498, which was approximately half of last year’s sample of 6,988.
However, an official at the Gyeonggi Province’s local government office said that malaria has an incubation period of six months, which is why it is difficult to make a direct correlation between the number of malaria patients and the weather.
“However, the fact that the number of mosquitoes is decreasing is not in dispute,” said the official.
The Gyeonggi region saw frequent rain until last month, when the mercury started rising to the scorching heat felt in recent weeks.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)