Monday, September 10, 2007

5 very good reasons to swat those mosquitoes

Poor little mosquitoes. One minute they’re just minding their own business, stopping to quench their thirst, and then whap! Suddenly their lives come to a screeching halt. Well, don’t feel too sorry for the suckers. Here are five reasons to keep on swatting.

1. Malaria

Malaria occurs in more than 100 countries and territories and causes more than 1 million deaths each year. This disease comes from four species of Plasmodium parasites and is transmitted through, you guessed it, mosquito bites.

In each case the mosquito picks up the invader when it bites an infected individual. The parasite than uses the mosquito as a reproduction center and food source (eww). After about a week, enough plasmodium to do some damage accumulates, and a little bit is passed along with the mosquito’s saliva when it bites someone new.

After multiplying in that person’s liver, the parasite causes red blood cells to burst and releases toxins into the blood, making the person feel lousy. Hurray for citronella candles!

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