The best environment for mosquitoes to breed is in warm, hot and humid conditions. Most species of mosquitoes reproduce by laying their eggs in water. This means that any containment of water such as pots, or even overturned cans can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
In warm weather, mosquitoes can produce a whole new generation in just 7 days, although two weeks is a more common time span. Do you know that some mosquitoes carry life-threatening diseases such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis?
Here are some facts about malaria and dengue that everyone should know.
- One of the most common diseases that some mosquitoes may carry is the Malaria disease. Malaria is caused by a blood-borne parasite that infects and then destroys red blood cells. Once infected, victims may suffer from repeated episodes of fever, or anemia and even death.
The World Health Organization estimates that each year 300-500 million cases of malaria occur and more than 1 million people die of malaria. About 1,300 cases of malaria are diagnosed in the United States each year.
Malaria occurs in over 100 countries and territories. More than 40% of the world’s population is at risk. Large areas of Central and South America, Hispaniola (the Caribbean island that is divided between Haiti and the Dominican Republic), Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Oceania are considered malaria-risk areas.
Anyone can get malaria!
- Another deadly disease that the some mosquitoes may carry is the infamous dengue. Dengue can cause fever, chills and skeletal pain. This disease is commonly carried by the Aedes Mosquito and is a constant and dangerous threat to home owners. Some of the symptoms of dengue include bleeding (from the nose, mouth, and gums), excessive thirst and difficulty in breathing. A lot of these symptoms also mirror another deadly virus - the Ebola virus.
Some 2500 million people (2/5 of the world's population) are now at risk from dengue. World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates there may be 50 million cases of dengue infection worldwide every year.
You can prevent malaria and dengue by:
- keeping mosquitoes from biting you, especially at night
- taking antimalarial drugs to kill the parasites
- eliminating places around your home where mosquitoes breed
- spraying insecticides on your home’s walls to - kill adult mosquitoes that come inside
- sleeping under bed nets - especially effective if they have been treated with insecticide, and
wearing or using insect repellent and long-sleeved clothing if outdoors.
You need to take urgent and serious steps to prevent being bitten from dangerous mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are usually attracted to perspiration, warmth, body odor, carbon dioxide and light. There are also several devices in the market that are supposed to attract, trap and destroy mosquitoes, along with other insects. However, the catch-22 situation is this - if these devices attracts mosquitoes, then that particular area may have more mosquitoes and hence annoy the people in that area.
Due to global warming, not only tropical countries are at risk, but so is the rest of the world. Conventional insect repellents in aerosol cans also contribute to the destruction of our precious ozone layer. Ironically, this may lead to an even better condition for mosquitoes to breed.
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