The 20th of August, 2022 is designated as World Mosquito Day in remembrance of British physician Sir Ronald Ross, who discovered in 1897 that female anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria between people. It is commemorated to spread awareness about the illness and disease caused by mosquitoes. There were few ways to stop the spread of malaria prior to the identification of the transmitting agent, but the discovery of quinine as a medication helped to solve the treatment issue.
There are 3,500 different species of the ubiquitous flying insect known as a mosquito, and not all of them attack people or animals. In 1897, the malarial parasite (Plasmodium Falciparum) was discovered in the stomach tissue of anopheles mosquito by Ronald Ross. This was confirmed by him that mosquitoes are vectors and carry this devastating parasite from one human to another.
Today, these mosquito borne diseases are more widespread and difficult to treat. Globally, efforts are made to curb the impact of these mosquitoes on the vulnerable populations but still several deaths happen every year. According to WHO, malaria alone leads to 400,000 deaths every year. Some examples of other non-fatal mosquito borne diseases are Zika infection that causes birth abnormalities in pregnant women on bite and Chikungunya infection that causes severe joint pain etc.
In malaria, the malarial parasite and the mosquito have a complex life cycle of their own in humans. The malarial parasite changes several life stages in the human host presenting different antigens at different stages of life cycle. Understanding these is under ongoing trials for development of a malaria vaccine but it is very complicated as the parasite has developed many strategies to misdirect the human immune system and due to this, no successful vaccine for malaria has been developed till now. Fever, chills, joint aches and fatigue are the hallmark symptoms of malaria however, there are different types of malarial infection with different symptoms.
It’s important to understand why we celebrate World Mosquito Day and why it has become so much talk of the town. Why is so much emphasis being laid on mosquitoes and celebration of this day?
It promotes malaria awareness
It raises funds for malaria research and treatment
It reminds us to appreciate contributions of scientists
Anopheles and Aedes are the most prevalent and dangerous of the more than 3500 species of mosquitoes that exist worldwide. In addition, there are other mosquito species that can transmit extremely harmful illnesses. Numerous of these illnesses are completely incurable and highly lethal. Like dengue, which has no vaccination or known treatment. Despite being lethal, malaria causes can still be treated.
The likelihood of contracting an illness transmitted by a mosquito increases during the rainy season when there is a lot of water collecting. This water pooling and logging has to be examined. In tropical regions and along the equator, where there is abundant rainfall, high humidity, and increased temperatures, mosquito-borne diseases represent a serious public health threat.
People from tropical areas can grow some plants that repel mosquitoes indoors or in gardens, including marigolds, lemongrass, lavender, and garlic. These can lessen the risk of mosquito bites inside residents' homes.
Dengue fever is characterized by symptoms such as headache, rash, high temperature, pain in the muscles and joints, hemorrhage, shock, etc. Chills, exhaustion, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, easy bruising, pain in the abdomen, pain behind the eyes, and other symptoms are possible for the patient. Fever, joint swelling, and unbearable agony are hallmark signs of the chikungunya virus infection, and symptoms usually start 3–7 days after a mosquito bite. Fever, rash, joint discomfort, conjunctivitis, headache with muscular pain, and conjunctivitis are hallmark signs of Zika virus infection. In some situations, these disorders result in death.
Hence, some of the mosquito borne diseases are mild but easy to treat. However antiviral drugs, antibiotics are not effective for controlling mosquito borne disease symptoms unlike other bacterial and viral infections.
Since we have understood the importance of celebrating this day, we need to understand also how we can get rid of these disease-causing mosquitoes so that we and our family is safe from their poisonous bites. It's important to know the basic steps or remedies or hacks that will help to keep these mosquitoes at bay in our houses.
Now that you are aware of the consequences of mosquito bites, protect yourselves and your family from these disease vectors! Visit Project Global Cure to read such knowledge quenching blogs, and watch this video on dengue. Before mosquitoes attack you, you attack your surrounding areas with all your cleaning tools. Keep your surroundings clean and maintain hygiene. Stay safe, stay healthy!