20 August – World Mosquito Day
August 20th recognises World Mosquito Day marking the occasion when Sir Ronald Ross discovered that female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans.
During Ross’s work with the Indian Medical Service, he made his groundbreaking discovery. The malarial parasite was found in the gastrointestinal tract of a female mosquito. The discovery allowed scientist to better understand the role of mosquitoes in the disease. It also provided a starting point for prevention.
In 1902, Ross became the first British person to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
There are over three thousand species of mosquitoes in the world today. Of those, only about three cause serious diseases.
Some of the most prevalent diseases are:
- dengue fever
- West Nile
- yellow fever
- Zika virus
Since the advent of World Mosquito Day, scientists and health agencies have pursued the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases. The most recommended approaches are:
- Use insect repellent with DEET. Other active ingredients that repel mosquitoes include:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Keep windows and doors closed. Use screens and air conditioning when available. Sleep under mosquito netting.
Take precautions. Learn the symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses. Remove standing water from around your yard and keep lawns trimmed. Explore how researchers discover new approaches to dealing with mosquito issues. Find out what you can do for your community, home, and the environment.