WiRED International Marks World Mosquito Day

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW AND BERNICE BORN

W

 

hat is the deadliest of all animal families in the world?

 

It isn’t the great white shark, or the massive grizzly bear or the ferocious lion. It’s the tiny mosquito.

 

"... With tears and toiling breath,
I find thy cunning seeds,
O million-murdering Death."
— Sir Harold Ross, 1897,
fragment of a poem
describing the
mosquito parasite

Many mosquito species carry diseases, passing extremely harmful infections to hosts. Mosquito-borne diseases are many, and they include Zika, yellow fever, chikungunya and dengue, as well as malaria, which is the most widespread and fatal illness transmitted by mosquitoes. Diseases from mosquitoes cause several million deaths every year.

 

August 20 is World Mosquito Day, which was first established in 1897, when Sir Ronald Ross (see sidebar) first discovered the link between mosquitoes and malaria transmission. The observance aims to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its partners are collaborating to promote World Mosquito Day in order to increase understanding among the public and healthcare providers about mosquito-borne diseases. The theme of the day is “Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites.”

 

Visit WiRED’s Mosquito webpage today for a comprehensive look at the mosquito.

 

 


WiRED’s Mosquito Webpage

 

In August 2016 WiRED launched a Mosquito webpage on its website. Many of WiRED’s interactive training modules in its Health Learning Center relate to diseases carried by mosquitoes, so WiRED staff created a webpage dedicated to information about the mosquito. The Mosquito page covers basics, diseases, prevention and protection, treatment and more. The mosquito is also featured prominently in WiRED’s Community Preparedness for Infectious Disease Outbreaks project.

 


The Link Between the Mosquito and Malaria Was Discovered by Sir Ronald Ross

 

Sir Ronald Ross was born in India in 1857 and educated in England, where his interests lay not in medicine but in poetry, literature, music, and mathematics. However, his father persuaded Ross to choose medicine as a career and to enter the Indian Medical Service in 1881 where he became interested in the hypothesis that malaria parasites existed in the human blood stream.

 

While dissecting the stomach tissue of an anopheline mosquito which had fed the previous four days on a malaria patient, he found the malaria parasite and then went on to prove the role of Anopheles mosquitoes in the transmission of malaria parasites in humans. Ross received the Nobel Prize in 1902.

 

Source: CDC

 

 

 

 

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