TYPES OF INSECT-BORNE DISEASE
MALARIA AND THE MOSQUITO.
Malaria is a very dangerous disease which is known to have killed many people especially children. It usually starts as a fever when the body of the patient becomes hot.
This is followed with headache and pains in the back and joints such persons do not feel like eating. Later the patient shivers and becomes restless. He cannot sleep even when he tries to.
CAUSES OF MALARIA
Malaria is caused by parasitic germs carried by an insect called Anopheles mosquito. When the mosquito bites, it pierces the skin and sucks out the blood, read piercing and sucking insects here. During the blood sucking operation, the parasites which are present in the mosquito are introduced into the body of man. Here, the parasites increase in number. They destroy the red blood corpuscles of man and introduce poisonous substances into his blood it is this poisonous substances that cause feverishness. If the blood of a sick person or a person who has been attacked earlier is sucked by another mosquito, the parasites are taken out and probably injected into another person during another bite.
The mosquito is a small, thin fly. It has two wings and six long tiny legs. It also has a long piercing mouth. Mosquitoes breed in the water standing in cans, broken bottles, pots and any other kind of container. read about holozoic adaptation and mood of nutrition here
Adult mosquitoes live in the bush and in dark corners of the house. They are very active at night when most people are asleep.
It has four stages in its life cycle. These are the egg, the larva, the pupa and the adult.
The mosquitoes lays their eggs on the surface of stagnant or stationary water. The eggs are boat-shaped and have a floating apparatus called `floats’.
In about four to seven days, the eggs hatch open and the larvae come out. The larva is a small, very active animal with a small head, big thorax and long segmented abdomen. It has a large number of brushes. At the tail end is a breathing tube. It lies on the surface of water.
The larva changes into a comma-shaped pupa after about eight to eleven days. It has a big head with big eyes and breathing tubes.
As previously described, it is a small insect which is active at night or in dark rooms. The female hums. It has a long piercing mouth and bushy feelers.
HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF MALARIA
Since malaria is caused by parasites carried by mosquitoes, it is best prevented by killing and destroying all stages of mosquitoes.
1. All adult mosquitoes should be killed by spraying houses with shelltox, DDT, and other insecticides.
2. All standing water in cans and empty containers should be drained away. Exposed water should not be allowed to remain for more than four days. Plants such as the cocoyam, banana and plantain should not be cultivated near houses, since between the leaves of these plants water will accumulate, thus, providing a suitable breeding place for mosquitoes.
3. The surface of stagnant pools which cannot be drained should be sprayed with oil. The oil spread over the water surface, prevents the larvae and the pupae of breeding mosquitoes from breathing. They will suffocate and die.
4. Quite occasionally we have large ponds of water. To prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, it is advisable to introduce some fish into such ponds. The fish will feed on the larvae and pupae.
5. Attacks by mosquitoes can be prevented by sleeping under mosquito nets. Where possible house should be mosquito-proof with mosquito netting of fine wires or muslin netting.
6. Malaria can be avoided by taking few tablets of some medicines regularly. Such medicines include: nivaquine, camoquin, daraprim, etc. The medicines destroy the malarial parasites as they enter the body and thus prevent them from causing any damage to the blood.
Sleeping sickness is very common in tropical Africa. In Nigeria, it is most common in the northern states. They attack cattle and horses.it also attacks man.
In man, sleeping sickness begins with a painful swelling in the skin. This is followed with fever, headache, pains and swelling of the neck. In later stages, the patient loses weight, becomes weak, dull, drowsy, and sleepy and may finally die.
CAUSES AND SPREAD
Sleeping sickness is caused by some parasitic germs called trypanosomes. This germs are spread by a fly known as tsetse fly. When the fly bites a patient the parasites are introduced into the skin. From the skin the parasites enter the blood from where they are sent to other parts of the body including the brain.
PREVENTION OF SLEEPING SICKNESS
1. In tsetse fly areas, all bushes near houses should be cleared.
2. Since tsetse flies breed in swamps by rivers and lakes, they can be eliminated or prevented from spreading if the bushes around these rivers and lakes are cleared for considerable distances.
3. It is advisable to wear clothes which cover most parts of the body.
4. Some chemicals such as DDT, dieldrin, etc. may be used to spray to kill tsetse flies.
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a germ (virus) carried by Aedes mosquitoes.
Yellow fever usually starts with fever and headache. This is accompanied with loss of appetite, some pains and general weakness
In severe cases, however, the patient becomes very ill due to the attack of patient’s liver and kidneys by the disease germs. The patient becomes yellow and it is important to note that a large number of patients with severe attacks usually die.
PREVENTION OF YELLOW FEVER
1. All mosquitoes must be destroyed by draining stagnant water in tins and cans.
2. Houses should be sprayed regularly to kill adult mosquitoes.
3. All bushes near houses should be cleared.
4. Always sleep under mosquito-nets.
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