Sunday, August 20, 2023

On World Mosquito Day (August 20, 2023)


It might seem a bit crazy at first scan, to have a World Mosquito Day. That, in and of itself, is not surprising, given that most people are coached to alternatively hate or fear mosquitoes, cockroaches, other insects, lizards, scorpions, snakes, tigers, bears, lions.. you get the picture. 

Now, some fears are acceptable, but many are not. The fear of infection, disease and death are natural, but we have to be careful about taking things too far with any species, including humans, as displayed with the fear associated with many coronaviruses such as HIV and COVID-19. Both virus infections, especially the much-feared and maligned HIV, can be managed effectively with early diagnosis. 

However, mosquitoes do remain something to be worried about. They can spread the following viruses/infections:

  1. Malaria
  2. Dengue fever
  3. Zika virus
  4. Chikungunya virus
  5. West Nile virus
In addition, mosquito bites hurt a lot, and they have become a nuisance across all the world, regardless of the underlying ecology. For instance, if you visited the Sierra Nevada mountains, or Alaska in summer, or decided to go to South America, Africa or Asia, you would find yourself relentlessly attacked by mosquitoes, except in the cold of the winter. 

In all, that is the purpose of World Mosquito Day. Stay aware of the presence of mosquitoes, not only in and around your work and home environment but also all the places you visit. 

The pregnant, the immunocompromised as well as those with special health circumstances need to be careful about exposure. 

It is also important to try and avoid or at least minimize the use of DEET compounds when trying to protect yourself from mosquitoes. 

Similarly, standing water is one of the main environments in which mosquitoes can thrive It is important to avoid allowing large quantities of unclean water to accumulate. 

Finally, keep up with the latest information such as the WHO malaria vaccine program, and other efforts that will help you and your loved ones. 


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