The heat that has hit Italy in the month of October, with temperatures exceeding the historical average for the month by 3.15 degrees and a rising trend continuing into November, has prolonged the mosquito season. In numerous Italian cities, citizens are still dealing with mosquito bites. Unfortunately, this situation is at risk of persisting until Christmas, as reported by the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine, which highlights the health risks.
“Temperatures well above seasonal averages have created favorable conditions for the disruption of life cycles and reproduction of certain insects,” explains Sima’s president, Alessandro Miani. “The anomalous heat allows mosquito eggs to survive due to a milder autumn, and adult mosquitoes to survive, reproduce, and multiply. This applies not only to mosquito types more resistant to cold, such as the Japanese (Aedes japonicus japonicus) or the Korean (Aedes koreicus), mainly present in some northern Italian areas but also to the widespread common mosquito (Culex pipiens) and the feared tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). It is worth noting that in our country, there are about 60 mosquito species, compared to over 3,000 worldwide.”
“In the absence of a sudden and significant drop in temperatures, mosquitoes could continue to wreak havoc in some areas of the country until Christmas,” Miani continues. “This change not only causes inconvenience and discomfort for citizens but also poses health risks. Among the diseases transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, some are very serious, such as dengue virus (DENV), chikungunya (CHIKV), and yellow fever (YFV). According to the data from the Italian National Institute of Health updated to November 6, 2023, there have already been 306 cases of dengue, 7 cases of Zika virus, 7 cases of chikungunya, and 44 cases of neuro-invasive infection since the beginning of the year,” concludes Miani.