ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
Scientists have sounded the alarm over the threat of disease that could be caused by mosquitoes in the summer if officials fail to take timely action.
“The water level in Istanbul’s dams is low. If this continues, there will be big problems in the summer. When the water ebbs, it creates muddy soil, ”said Levent Kurnaz, director of the Center for Climate Change and Policy Studies at Boğaziçi University.
According to Kurnaz, these muddy places could be breeding grounds for mosquitos, which could cause the West Nile or Zika viruses or malaria.
Fatih Dikmen, a biologist from Istanbul University, also warned of new mosquito species.
“We will see several different species due to the ebb. Some new species of mosquitoes that we’ve never seen before, ”said Dikmen.
“We will see some new micro-habitats. The mosquitoes will be natural carriers of the West Nile or Zika viruses. “
He urged city officials to work out a plan to combat mosquitoes, which are carriers of contagious diseases.
According to Kurnaz, the problem arose when concerns about the warm weather in Istanbul increased as it was still not near zero degrees Celsius.
“Mosquitoes leave their eggs in watery environments. If these waters don’t freeze in winter, these eggs will survive, ”said Kurnaz.
“If they survive in winter because the water doesn’t freeze, they will multiply in March. So we can see a huge population of mosquitoes in the summer, ”added Kurnaz.
He also named İzmit, Istanbul’s neighboring province and the western İzmir Province, as potential cities that are threatened by mosquitoes.
The water level in Istanbul’s dams fell to 20.93 percent in December, while it was 34.02 percent in the same month of 2019.