GHS confirms new mosquito species

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The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has confirmed the presence of a new mosquito vector called Anopheles stephensi in Ghana.

The new vector was confirmed in March 2023 from samples taken in Tuba and Dansoman in the Greater Accra region as part of the routine malaria surveillance system and vector control monitoring done across the country through designated sentinel sites.

The GHS in a statement said the Anopheles stephensi is a unique vector known to breed in a myriad of sources such as ponds, swamps, marshes, artificial containers and other man-made container spots. It can practically breed in almost all water sources, some of which are not the traditional breeding sites of the common Anopheles species, particularly in urban areas.

The vector can also survive in extremely high temperatures during the dry season when malaria transmission usually declines. It is known to spread fast and adapt to different climatic conditions posing challenges to its control.

The GHS has entreated the public to ensure the removal of water collection point in and around their homes and communities to minimize the breeding sites for this new mosquito species and also cover all water containers to avoid mosquito breeding.

Further, it has advised households to use insecticide-treated nets to protect themselves against indoor mosquito bites, the use of repellents and protective clothing that protects against mosquito bites and to screen doors and windows of rooms.  

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