Those vexing, dogging, and worrisome mosquitoes. Their annoying buzz, their irksome attack, and their disturbing bite. Is it absurd for you to feel fortunate that you only have a few itchy bites after a mosquito proboscis provocation?
It is remarkable how much attention is given to these voluminous vectors of discomfort and disease. You should be glad to hear that considerable research is dedicated to studying the mosquito. One study in particular grabbed my attention. Scientists from the the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine suggest that your genes may determine whether you are a preferred prospect, a proverbial “prandial pub.” The researchers examined the body odors given off by the hands of fraternal and identical twins. It was noted that mosquitoes were more apt to be drawn in equal numbers to the scents of identical-twin-pairs, while noticeably preferring one fraternal twin over another. It is hoped that these discoveries can lead to new and better ways to repel disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The Mosquito Research Foundation “envisions a world free of mosquito borne disease. Through targeted research, every day we take a step closer toward that goal. Help us to create a safe, healthy environment for tomorrow’s children.”
The cause for concern and the vast amount of attention the mosquito warrants is no doubt not too surprising. Malaria was once eradicated in the U.S., but now there are outbreaks of locally transmitted malaria reported. Mosquitoes transmit Yellow fever, Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and the Chikungunya virus. Then too, horses die from Eastern or Western Equine Encephalitis. Canine heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes. The Mosquito Research Foundation has documented cases of caribou in Alaska being asphyxiated from mosquito inhalation. Lastly whooping cranes and sandhill cranes, two endangered bird species, are affected by Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
You can learn much more by visiting The Mosquito Research Foundation website, www.mosquitoresearch.org. A dedicated organization with clear vision and a lofty but paramount goal, “a world that is free from all mosquito-borne diseases.”