As mosquitoes have changed the world?
Throughout history, the damage caused by these tiny insects, determined the fate of empires, paralyzed economic activity and the predicted outcome of the decisive war. On his way mosquitoes killed nearly half of humanity. In the period from 1980 to 2010 from malaria die each year from 1.2 million to 2.78 million people. According to the report of the World Health Organization for 2017, 435,000 people died from malaria (among the 219 million cases), of which two-thirds - children up to five years. This means that malaria may have killed more people than any other disease in history.
The dangerous mosquitoes
Innocuous at the first examination, the mosquitoes are found in almost all corners of our planet. Appeared on Earth more than 100 million years ago, mosquitoes are more than 3000 species. Most other common Culex pipiens that live in warm tropical regions. Their main victim - the person, but these insects do not stop to eat the juice and nectar plants, as well as the blood of other animals. In warm and humid places insects are active throughout the year, and that's where the climatic conditions cause people to be warmed, mosquitoes overwinter, hibernate, or falling into the so-called diapause (one of the stages of insect development).
In the course of evolution, the mosquitoes have adapted to endure the impact of negative temperatures. These guys manage to multiply even in the Arctic, to say nothing of the temperate and warm climates. By the way, there are no mosquitoes in only one place on Earth - Antarctica.
What is malaria?
Here is the malaria blood cells
Life in hot countries fraught with constant danger because of the mosquitoes. Apart from malaria, mosquitoes are carriers of dengue fever, which represents today a serious threat to the population of the subtropical and tropical regions.
Malaria is an infectious disease transmitted by the bite of a man with a female Anopheles mosquito. The saliva of the insect, the mosquito that injects into the skin when they bite contains anticoagulants that prevent blood clotting. In it are the parasites of the Plasmodium, which are the causative agents of malaria. Once in the bloodstream, the parasites attack the liver, where they multiply, subsequently destroying the red blood cells - red blood cells.
In West and Central Africa, the researchers found evidence that malaria is accompanied by a man throughout history - the age of the fossils found by archaeologists mosquitoes with the remnants of the parasites is estimated at 30 million years.
Radiation and biological weapons destroyed mosquitoes in China
Malaria is dangerous because it is not immediately. Once bitten it may take 1 to 4 weeks. The symptoms include headache, fever, joint ache, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue and others. Malaria is characterized by cyclical passage, and elements sharpening every 6 or 10 hours. It should be noted that mortality cases from 80 to 90%.
The great commander and politician Hannibal
Genghis Khan, Christopher Columbus, Attila, Alexander the Great and many other makers of history have fallen victim to malaria. It is not known what today would be human civilization if not for the mosquitoes. For it is thanks to them that the Roman Empire is obliged to escape from archenemy Hannibal and his army. And how many would then not be counted.
How to distinguish the ordinary from the malaria mosquito?
It looks like an ordinary mosquito
But if mosquitoes are so dangerous, how do you know which one is carrying malaria, and what not? Thanks to evolution, not bypassed face these unpleasant creatures, we know the answer. In the malaria mosquito Anopheles genus is quite long legs, and you can see dark spots on the wings. The size of the mosquito is about 6-7 mm, and most of these insects narrow abdomen, narrow wings and projecting forward breast.
And here is the anopheles mosquito
Malarial mosquitoes often called such large mosquito with long legs. They are in our country can be found quite often, but these guys are harmless and do not drink blood. Moreover, this single-family crane flies mosquitoes, of which there are about 4,200 species.
And here is how the crane fly
Where are sick with malaria
Malaria - a very common disease, but special care should be observed when visiting Africa, Central and South America, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and countries with tropical and subtropical climates.
Note that the malaria mosquito activity in the region depends on the time of year. For example in Ghana, Angola and Guinea Malaria rages all year, Zimbabwe's only from November to June, and in Iran and Iraq from March to November.
Malaria in Russia
If you thought that these dangerous insects do not get to Russia, we hasten to disappoint you. Anopheles mosquitoes fly through the territory of our vast country. But if there are mosquitoes, where malaria? The fact that malaria parasites, wintering in females of Anopheles genus, can not survive our winter.
Even more interesting facts about mosquitoes and the Arctic can be found on our channel in Yandex. Zen
However, the malaria cases in Russia are known. They occur mostly with tourists returning from areas where malaria - a common occurrence.
Is there a vaccine for malaria?
XXI century has brought good news. These include the creation of a vaccine against malaria, which was successfully tested in 2017. In general, vaccinations - as the best way to save their lives and the lives of others. If you ever are thinking to go for example in the Congo, you must replace vaccinated two weeks before the proposed travel and try to avoid contact with mosquitoes.
What do you think, what would be our world without mosquitoes? Share your opinion in the comments in our Telegram-chat.