Throughout history, the damage to these tiny insects, have determined the fate of empires, paralyzed economic activity and predicted the outcome of crucial wars. The mosquitoes killed almost half of humanity. In the period from 1980 to 2010 of malaria each year die from 1 200 000 to 2 780 000 people. According to the world Health Organization in 2017, 435 thousand people died from malaria (among 219 million cases), of which two-thirds are children under five years. This means that malaria may have killed more people than any other disease in history.
How dangerous mosquitoes
Harmless at first glance, mosquitoes are found in almost all corners of our planet. Appeared on Earth over 100 million years ago, the mosquitoes there are about 3000 varieties. Other more common mosquitoes of ordinary living in warm tropical regions. Their main victim is the people, however, these insects are opportunists juice and nectar plants, and the blood of other animals. In warm and humid places insects are active throughout the year, but where the climatic conditions are forcing people to be warmed, the mosquitoes hibernate, hibernating, or so-called diapause (one of the stages of development of the insect).
In the course of evolution, mosquitoes have adapted to tolerate exposure to freezing temperatures. These guys manage to reproduce even in the Arctic, to say nothing of the temperate and warm climate. By the way, no mosquitoes in only one place on Earth — Antarctica.
What is malaria?
Life in tropical countries is fraught with constant danger from mosquitoes. In addition to malaria, mosquitoes are carriers of Dengue fever, representing today a major threat to populations in the subtropical and tropical regions.
Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted to humans by bite of female Anopheles mosquito. In the insect saliva, which the mosquito injects under the skin during a bite contain anticoagulants that prevent blood clotting. There are also parasites of the genus Plasmodium that are the causative agents of malaria. Once in the blood, the parasites attack the liver where they multiply and subsequently destroying erythrocytes — red blood cells.
In West and Central Africa, scientists found evidence that malaria has accompanied humans throughout history — age archaeologists found fossils of mosquitoes with the remnants of the parasites is estimated at 30 million years.
Malaria threat that is not immediate. After the bite, it may take 1 to 4 weeks. Symptoms include headache, fever, aching joints, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, etc. Malaria is characterized by cyclical over, sharpening and Danny smiled, puzzled every 6 or 10 hours. It should be noted that the mortality rate among the infected is from 80 to 90%.
Genghis Khan, Christopher Columbus, Attila the Hun, Alexander the great and many other rulers of history have fallen victim to malaria. It is not known what today would be human civilization if not for the mosquitoes. Thanks to them, the Roman Empire required an escape from the Nemesis of Hannibal and his army. And how many were then not considered.
How can you distinguish a malarial mosquito from?
But if mosquitoes are so dangerous as to know which one is the peddler of malaria, and what not? Thanks to evolution, not bypassed by a party of these nasty creatures, we know the answer. From the malaria mosquito Anopheles pretty long legs, and on the wings you can see dark spots. The size of this mosquito is about 6-7 mm, and yet these insects narrow abdomen, narrow wings and protruding breast.
Malarial mosquitoes are often called such a large mosquito with long legs. In our country it is possible to meet quite often, but these guys are harmless and don’t even drink blood. Moreover, it is a separate family of mosquitoes dolganiuc, of which there are about 4200 species.
Malaria is a very common disorder, but special caution should be observed when visiting Africa, Central and South America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and countries with tropical and subtropical climates.
Note that the activity of mosquitoes in the regions depends on the time of year. So, for example in Ghana, Angola and Guinea malaria is raging all year round in Zimbabwe from November to June, and Iran and Iraq from March to November.
Malaria in Russia
If you think that these dangerous insects got, I hasten to disappoint you. Mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles fly over the territory of our vast country. But if there are mosquitoes where malaria? The fact that malarial parasites hibernating within females of the genus Anopheles, are unable to survive our winter.
However, the malaria cases in Russia are known. They occur mostly with tourists returning from regions where malaria is very common.
Is there a malaria vaccine?
XXI century has brought good news. These include the creation of a vaccine against malaria, which has passed successful tests in 2017. In General, vaccination is the best way to save your life and the lives of others. If you ever are going to go for example in the Congo, be sure to put vaccinated two weeks prior to the trip and try to avoid contact with mosquitoes.