In the past month, Kenya has experienced one of the most heatwaves ever experienced. All around the country, people have been complaining of the massive heat with people encouraged to either remain indoors, take lots of water or use sunscreens.
But even in the middle of the massive heat, reigning day and night, you may have noticed a mosquito or two in your living room. It is not common to see a living mosquito with such heat in places such as Nairobi. But it has been there this time.
Well, there is a new Anopheles mosquito, known as Anopheles Stephensi that has landed in Kenya. This is a mutated specie that can survive in any environment and cannot be killed by the common sprays. The specie transmits plasmodium vivax, the parasite that causes the deadliest type of malaria.
The worst about this specie is that Nairobi will no longer be malaria-free. For years, the City has been declared malaria-free with pharmacies stopping stocking anti-malaria drugs because people no longer got sick from the mosquitoes.
Malaria is a deadly disease that affects over 229 million people each year and kills over 400,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. Africa is a home to malaria which has been a menace to kids under the age of 5.
More than a quarter of a million children die in Africa each year as a result of the mosquito-borne disease, including over 10,000 in Kenya. It has been difficult to tame Malaria due to different weather patterns and the mutating mosquitoes.
“So the fact that this can survive in urban areas where water is not clean and that can transmit, that’s the worry people are having. For the time being it’s to monitor and see to what extent we are going to have its spreading and what impact it will be having,” said KEMRI