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African Malaria Progress Could Be Halted By Invasive Mosquitoes

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African Malaria Progress Could Be Halted By Invasive Mosquitoes

(CTN News) – There is a possibility that an invasive mosquito species might have caused a large malaria outbreak earlier this year in Ethiopia, a finding that experts have described as a worrying sign that progress against the disease may be at risk.

It is believed that this mosquito species, known as Anopheles stephensi, is mostly found in the Indian subcontinent and the Persian Gulf. In 2012, the virus was discovered in Djibouti, and it has since been discovered in Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Nigeria as well.

A recent rise in malaria cases in Djibouti is being attributed to mosquitoes. This prompts the World Health Organization to consider preventing the insects from spreading further in the continent in order to prevent the spread of malaria.

Scientist Fitsum Tadesse, one of the world’s leading malaria scientists, presented his research at the American Society of Tropical Medicine meeting in Seattle on Tuesday. He suggested that the invasive mosquitoes are also responsible for the outbreak of malaria currently occurring in Ethiopia.

It is pertinent to note that the researchers did not find many of the mosquitoes that usually transmit malaria in Africa. Instead, they found high densities of mosquitoes that were invasive to the area.

As a result of the study, Tadesse and colleagues concluded that the invasive mosquitoes were “strongly linked” to the outbreak.

According to Thomas Churcher, an infectious disease dynamics professor at Imperial College London and someone who was not associated with the research, “This newly discovered evidence is terrifying.”

During his lecture, he stated that most of the malaria spread in Africa occurs in rural areas. This is due to the fact that native mosquitoes do not enjoy breeding in polluted cities or artificial containers like buckets. These conditions, however, are conducive to the growth of invasive mosquitoes.

In his opinion, one of the most terrible things that could happen to Africa is if these mosquitoes gain a foothold there.

There is no doubt that the most common mosquito-control measures used in Africa, such as bed nets and indoor spraying, will not work against the invasive insects, since mosquitoes tend to bite people more outdoors rather than indoors.

This has been attributed to the longer rainy seasons and the conflict in northern Ethiopia, which have depleted malaria resources because the rainy season has been longer.

The Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine’s infectious diseases specialist, Anne Wilson, said African communities might consider adapting measures used in India to combat mosquitoes.

This includes introducing fish that eat their larvae or prohibiting standing water in containers, to combat the mosquitoes.

The slow progress against malaria, she said, is further complicating efforts to end the parasitic disease, which kills 600,000 people a year, mostly in Africa.

“We’re waiting to see what effect new tools such as pesticides and vaccines will have,” she said. There is a chance that we will be out of time if this mosquito takes off.”

Is malaria a virus or bacteria?

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.

People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Four kinds of malaria parasites infect humans: Plasmodium falciparum, P


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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