In Pakistan, climate change has turned Anopheles pulcherrimus, a harmless species of mosquito into a lethal vector of malaria, revealed reports.
Harmless Mosquitoes On the Move
“A previously unknown and harmless species of mosquitoes called Anopheles pulcherrimus is now spreading malaria at an alarming pace in the flood-affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan, and south Punjab,” Muhammad Mukhtar, a leading Pakistani entomologist, told The News.
More than five million suspected cases of malaria have so far been reported from the flood-affected areas of Sindh, Balochistan, and south Punjab from January to November 2022, officials in the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHS, R&C) said, adding that new revelations regarding the change in malaria-causing species in Pakistan have emerged as an “alarming development” for the entire world.
“During the current field investigation, surprisingly not a single specimen of ‘Anopheles culicifacies’ in four districts of Sindh and Balochistan was found. This shows that this species has been wiped out from the flood-affected districts, most probably due to extraordinarily high temperatures followed by devastating floods this year,” Mukhtar, who is the Director of Malaria Control at NHS,R&C claimed, The News reported.