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City to wage 10-day war on mosquitoes

MOSQUITOES may pose a big threat this summer if no immediate action is taken to control the pest that proliferates fast in standing water left by the rainy season, local health officials said. Abundant rainfall and a fast rising temperature after the plum rain season that ended on Monday is ideal for mosquito breeding. June, July and August are the peak breeding season for mosquitos in Shanghai. Mosquito density normally doubles in June, compared with May. "We haven't worked out the density this June but it definitely will be much higher than last month's," said Leng Peien, a department director with the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention. "If no effective measures are taken, mosquitoes will explode in number due to the hot and humid weather." A 10-day anti-mosquito campaign will be launched citywide by the Shanghai Patriotic Health Campaign Commission tomorrow, with a focus on construction sites, Metro stations, residential areas, underground parking lots and suburban areas. "Rainwater drainage systems are ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes and tend to be overlooked by property management staff and building owners," Leng said. "A recent check found mosquito eggs in 60 to 70 percent of rainwater drainage systems." Health officials said controlling mosquitoes is not only important to reduce mosquito bites but also effective to prevent mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and encephalitis B. "There were two outbreaks of dengue fever in the neighboring provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu in recent years and Shanghai should take adequate precautions," Leng said. Disease control officials said Shanghai always has an epidemic of encephalitis B in late July and early August, which mainly affects children under 14. The city reports about 10 cases of encephalitis B a year on average with most victims being migrant children who weren't vaccinated. Last year had six cases with five being migrant children.

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