mosquito borne disease

What’s the deadliest animal in the world?

via gatesnotes.com 

What makes mosquitoes so dangerous? Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis.

buttons15  asked:

Hello there! I'm not sure you remember me, I've messaged you a long time ago when you got into med school. To be honest I kind of needed a bit of your help right now. I know this is a long shot, but you and I share the same oath so I guess there's no harm in trying. So, here's the deal: you might have heard things are not looking too nice down here in Brazil. We are having a lot of trouble with the spread of Zika virus and the microcephaly it seems to be causing. (cont.)

We’re actually expecting a whole generation of microcephaly babies, worse than the talidomide issue. We were given emergency talks on it, but the truth is we know too little about the virus and how it works. If you do have interest and don’t know already, I can try to feed you the info in a medium with less word constraints. Anyway, so up there in the US it seems you guys have a good thirty cases reported but no spread yet, because you’re in winter and Aedes is a summer bug.

Point being while down here we have this bomb on our hands, up there you guys can still prevent damage on it, and this is where I was hoping you’d help me out.I know you have a lot of followers and a lot of reach, and you are both an artist and a doctor to be. It sounds a bit desperate of me to try and start a “Tumblr against the Aedes” thing but if you can get one kid who follows you to get up and get rid of those mosquito breeding grounds, it could make all the difference in the world. 

When I get the time I want to reblog a clearer infographic about the Zika outbreak and what we can do to minimize the number of people infected, but for the time being I hope you don’t mind if I just post your ask? It’s absolutely a serious issue that needs to be addressed, thank you for bringing it to my attention.

bennypen  asked:

Please help. I am having a crisis. I am a sophomore in high school, and I get mediocre grades, but something extreme has happened to me recently involving biology. It's *actually extremely fascinating*. Like, I love participating in class, and the stuff we're learning is super basic but I still love learning about it, and I'm almost teaching the teacher now cause I am EMAILING HIM about subjects I wanna learn (like CRISPR). I am actually doing extra work just for fun WHAT IS THIS PLEASE HELP ME

You’re a big nerd Harry

But yeah OOOH BOY CRISPR is sooo cool, there was an awesome feature on it in the National Geographic recently and it’s potential in combating mosquito borne diseases, it is so space age

bozodclown  asked:

I know it's a myth that wasps are unimportant in the ecosystem and that things would probably get quite bad if wasps were to vanish. But what about mosquitoes? If they were to vanish, what kind of ramifications would it have, both in nature, and in modern human society?

Being someone not very familiar with flies I’m going to give my best answer. Mosquitoes are one of the few insects I am not fond of. So here’s the deal with mosquitoes, it’s only the ladies that love to suck your blood. The males are pollinators. If mosquitoes would disappear the ecosystem would change and we don’t know in what ways. Something would eventually come an occupy the mosquitoes’ niche. Maybe it’d be nicer. But it could also be just as nasty or nastier. The other thing could be a result would more humans (less mosquito borne disease fatalities) which would stress the planet more. 

Plants would loose pollinators. Male mosquitoes looove flowers, blood is gross ew ew to them.  I bet you like chocolate. The cacao plant’s major pollinator is mosquitoes, so less chocolate :(.  Mosquitoes are a major food source for different species of frogs and birds, so they’d have to adapt or die out. Mosquitoes although annoying do play an large role in the ecosystem and provide ecosystem services  (do things that makes life nicer for humans LIKE CHOCOLATE).

Any of my followers can add better stuff?

nebutomo  asked:

As someone who lives in a mosquito-rich area, is there anything I can do to protect myself without having to coat myself in repellent every time I leave the house? I would also like to conceive within the next year or two, so that being said, is there a vaccine being developed?

We can all take steps to reduce the risk of contracting Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases. Whenever outside, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. When indoors, use air conditioning when it’s available and repair window and door screens. You can also help prevent mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home by emptying items that collect standing water or notifying the relevant authorities if you cannot empty them yourself. 

NIH scientists began Phase I trials on a Zika vaccine candidate in August, ahead of schedule. #AnswerTime

wafflelovingbatgirl  asked:

I saw a post online about a potential way to eliminate Mosquitos as a species by breeding attractive yet sterile males. I dislike Mosquitos as much as the next person who spends significant amounts of time in the outdoors of Virginia, but wouldn't this be really bad for the ecosystem?

It would set things off-balance, but then again, they’re already off-balance from anthropogenic influences. The question is, what would it gain and is that more important than what we’d damage?

I’m going to copypasta from a beautiful post by speciesofleastconcern, since I can’t rebagel it with this. 

When someone asks, as they always eventually do, “why do mosquitoes exist?,” they’re really asking another hidden question. Because mosquitoes exist for the same reason all organisms exist: evolution provided adaptations to fit the available energy sources. Blood-suckers suck blood because blood is a liquid that can be sucked–the alternative is flesh-eating. Which is worse?

The hidden question is this “Is the natural world in balance?” The answer of course is no. Humans have proved to be so adaptable in such a short time, that we have thrown the entirety of the rest of the natural world out of kilter. We have spread to every corner of the globe, bringing our food animals with us. We have created vast climate-controlled structures to live in. We have dug deep into the earth to find energy trapped in hydrocarbons that have held onto it for millions of years, and released so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that we have changed the atmosphere and climate of the planet forever.

One of the most mundane activities of humans–the selling of goods between one land mass and another–has resulted in the spread of mosquitoes. In prehistory the mosquitoes would have lived in balance with their predators–the mosquitoes pushing their hosts gently toward fitness, the predators keeping them at a tolerable level. Moving mosquitoes around the world has brought these biting flies to land masses that never had them before, and brought multiple species to places that used to have only a few species. The shiploads of tires and other mosquito-moving industries did not bring along the predators of the mosquitoes. We ask too much of our native bats and dragonflies–there are simply too many exotic mosquitoes for natural controls to retake the balance.

The result is blood-borne diseases in North America bearing the names of regions in Africa. The result is the almost complete destruction of Hawaain bird diversity. The result is mosquitoes that bite in the daytime, that breed in dumpsters and dirty gutters, in densities that mock the equilibrium of the past. Why are there mosquitoes? Because there is blood to drink. Why are there so many god damned mosquitoes? Because human activity creates and destroys habitat in a way that rarely makes the world a better place.

So there’s pretty much the philosophical problem, well encapsulated. Now, let’s look at the reason we’re considering sterlizing mosquitoes: blood-borne disease control. 

I’m guessing you saw this article by the Guardian? It’s not so much about eliminating them as a species as about cutting back on the sheer numbers of them, especially in areas where they’re not native. Why? Because in a decade or so we’re going to have absolutely huge problems with disease vectors for blood-borne diseases. We’re talked about chytridomycosis on this blog - a type of fungi that is wiping out amphibian species all over the globe by basically suffocating them. Amphibians are pretty much the main limiting factor for insect populations, so when they die off, the bug count is going to spike. So, y’know how current malaria problems are bad? Imagine exponentially worse outbreaks. 

Sterilizing insects as a method of population control, and subsequently, disease control, is something we’ve been researching for at least five years if not much longer. As much as it might hurt the populations of things that prey on them in the areas it’s deployed, it might be crucial to helping stem or prevent large-scale disease spread in the future. 

Will the spread of Zika virus push South America to loosen abortion bans?

With no vaccine, no cure, and without even a reliable diagnosis, doctors are at a loss for how to protect their patients from the Zika virus. In the past year, the mosquito-borne disease has spread throughout Latin America, sparking panic because of a possible link to microcephaly—babies born with abnormally small brains. Without more information, medical advice so far has boiled down to this: Don’t get pregnant. So say official guidelines from Brazil, Colombia, and Honduras. El Salvador has gone so far as to recommend women do not get pregnant until 2018.

But most of these Latin American countries are also Catholic, so access to birth control is often poor and abortion is flat-out banned.