Today, the world observes World Mosquito Day. It commemorates the life-changing discovery that female mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of malaria in humans, made by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross in 1897. As tiny as they might be, mosquitoes are the “world’s deadliest animal” to live through the years. Many diseases such as malaria, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika, are responsible for more than one million deaths every year and are all caused by this tiny organism.
With the number of deaths in focus, it is important to realise the significance of the awareness about the prevention and treatment of mosquito-borne diseases.
Why Do We Need To Talk About Mosquitoes?
Every year, over 228 million people are infected by malaria worldwide. According to Endmalaria.org, working towards preventing mosquito bites and diseases have saved more than 7.6 million lives, and prevented over 1.5 billion malaria cases since the year 2000. This year’s theme for World Mosquito Day is “Reaching the zero-malaria target”.
Common Mosquito-borne Diseases
Dengue virus is transmitted when an infected mosquito of the Aedes species bites. Dengue is common in over 100 countries. About 3 billion people around the world live in areas with a high risk of dengue. Its common symptoms are high fever, headache and joint pain.
This disease is caused by the Anopheles species of mosquitoes. Over 229 million cases of malaria and 4,09,000 deaths were reported in 2019 worldwide. Its common symptoms are fever, headache and chills running down the body. Malaria is most common in children. 67 percent (274,000) of all malaria-related deaths worldwide happened in children aged under 5 years.
How To Prevent Breeding Of Mosquitoes?
- No pool of water
Water is the most favourable place for mosquitoes to breed. Keep the areas dry. Avoid water collection in pits and holes. Stagnant water leads to the insect’s high breeding.
- Mosquito repellents
Use repellents whenever you step out of your house. It will prevent mosquito bites that may lead to one suffering from some severe infections of dengue and malaria.
- House protection
Ensure that your house is properly ventilated. It should have enough windows to let light and air pass. The insect finds a dark and unhygienic environment favourable for its growth. Use sieve windows to prevent the entry of mosquitoes and keep the doors shut.
- Sleep protection
Use a mosquito net, repellents and machines like “All-Out” to prevent the insect from biting you during your sleep. It is easy since the body is not in motion, providing mosquitoes with an easy way to sit.