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World Mosquito Day
20 August 2013
World mosquito day honors the malaria work of Sir Ronald Ross.
Photo: iStockphoto.com/© LindaMarieB
In 1902, British doctor, Sir Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for his work on malaria. His discovery of the malarial parasite in the gastrointestinal tract of the Anopheles mosquito led to the realization that malaria was transmitted by Anopheles, and laid the foundation for combating the disease.1
Read more about Sir Ronald Ross on the CDC website.
Interesting facts about mosquitoes from National Geographic:2
- Mosquitoes are carriers for some of humanity’s most deadly illnesses, including malaria, west nile virus, yellow fever, dengue fever and encephalitis.
- There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes but three are primarily responsible for the spread of human diseases: (1) Anopheles mosquitoes carry malaria and also transmit filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis. (2)Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus. (3)Aedes mosquitoes carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis.
- Mosquitoes use exhaled carbon dioxide, body odors and temperature, and movement to home in on their victims.
- Only female mosquitoes have the mouth parts necessary for sucking blood. They use the blood not for their own nourishment but as a source of protein for their eggs. For food, both males and females eat nectar and other plant sugars.
- All mosquitoes need water to breed, so eradication and population-control efforts usually involve removal or treatment of standing water sources. Insecticide spraying to kill adult mosquitoes is also widespread. However, global efforts to stop the spread of mosquitoes are having little effect, and many scientists think global warming will likely increase their number and range.