You can name the most feared animal on the planet. To boot, you can name the most venomous snakes, from King Cobras to Black Mambas, but these animals cannot dare compare to the damage done by one speck of an insect: the mosquito. Timothy Winegard, a Canadian historian, sets the record straight in his piece, The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator. In America, we hardly notice this flying pest. But we may have to now, especially now that a new breed has been found in American soil, the Aedes vittatus.
As a whole, about 108 human beings have walked the Earth since the very first man came to be. That’s how demographers estimate it. That number is certainly a lot. But the same experts agree about half of that, or 52 billion humans, have perished due to mosquito-borne diseases. Indeed, CDC has branded the mosquito as the world’s deadliest animal, killing over a million people worldwide every year. Don’t think for a minute that mosquitoes are a problem; you can easily swat. It’s far more sinister than that.
Just recently this year, a new species of mosquito aptly named the Aedes vittatus has been found on American soil. What makes this mosquito truly dangerous is it can carry a host of diseases in one body. In short, it’s as deadly as can be.
The Disease Bomber
Over the course of human history, mosquitoes have been a scourge of humanity, far more than we are willing to admit. The insect sure looks meager, made up of weight several folds lighter than the lightest human. But what makes it so lethal is the mosquito can carry a host of life-threatening diseases. Some of these are:
- Lymphatic filariasis
- West Nile disease
- Zika disease
- Yellow fever
For one, dengue infects 400 million people yearly, with 100 million of these infected getting sick. Caused by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, dengue takes the lives of thousands every year. Worse, about 40% of the world’s population lives in areas prone to dengue.
Indeed, the mosquito thrives in tropical and subtropical countries. But don’t mistake it. If you think dengue can’t get to you, think again. About 2,000 Americans, most travelers from dengue-prone countries, are infected by dengue yearly. A dozen or so of these Americans die yearly.
And as no particular antiviral treatment is available for dengue fever, prevention is your best hope to contain the disease. That should mean avoiding mosquito bites as much as possible. You can do this by using insect repellents as well as wearing long sleeves and jeans always. Additionally, you should ensure potential breeding grounds such as a free-standing pool of water are destroyed to minimize risks.
If you really want to make sure, letting mosquito control experts do their part should be spot on. These professionals have the experience to contain these flying pests effectively and have the tools to make it happen.
Bear in mind that the other diseases mosquitoes can carry are also as dangerous as dengue. Zika virus, for one, another disease from mosquitoes, can cause congenital disabilities to develop in an unborn child. And then there’s malaria, a disease that claims nearly half a million deaths every year.
A More Ruthless Kind
Move over Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the Aedes vittatus has arrived. On June 18, 2019, the first Aedes vittatus mosquito was discovered in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It was caught in a soldier’s trap.
Of course, we all know Guantanamo Bay as the place America incarcerates its ‘war on terror’ criminals. It’s the worst place to be in the sense that you’ll find there the most hardened terrorists that have killed innumerable victims in the past.
What makes the Aedes vittatus so feared? To note, there are about 3,500 species of mosquito found all over the world. Not all mosquitoes carry the deadliest of diseases known to man. The Aedes Aegypti mosquito, for instance, can infect humans with not just dengue but also chikungunya and yellow fever.
And this is where Aedes vittatus is a class of its own. It can easily become the most feared of the tribe. Why? That’s because it can carry just about every disease in the book a mosquito can carry. We’re talking about all of the diseases listed above except malaria.
Certainly, being in an area where these mosquitoes fly is no good news. Think about the risks. They could be breeding right there in your birdbath. Worse, they could be feeding off your children and spreading diseases in the process.
That should be your cue. Do an audit of your premises. Call the experts. Giving time and effort to stopping these airborne pests is the order of the day. It’s an uphill climb. But it’s all worth it as it’s putting a premium on the people you love.