Mosquitoes And Malaria

Written by Greg Schwartz
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Mosquitoes and malaria are a potentially lethal combination. The majority of malaria cases are found in Africa. That does not mean that people in other countries are safe. Travelers can bring the disease into your neighborhood and not be aware of it until the disease has incubated enough to develop symptoms. There is only one kind of mosquito that transmits malaria and that is the Anopheles. They are persistent biters.

There are four species of parasitic protozoa that are responsible for infecting the human red blood cells. Malaria parasites live by feeding on the red blood cells. The only way a malaria parasite can live is to have a human and a mosquito host. The interesting thing is that the only mosquito that can host this parasite is the Anopheles. This is an unusual connection between mosquitoes and malaria.

Mosquitoes and Malaria Are a Bad Combination

The process starts when the mosquito gets the malaria parasite from their feast on the blood of an infected human. The intestine of the Anopheles mosquito serves as a place for the malaria parasite to replicate itself. This takes at least a week and then it is ready to be passed on to another human. If the mosquito bites another human, the infection can be passed on.

Once the parasite has been passed on to a human, it takes up residence in the liver allowing it to grow and multiply. Anywhere from eight days to many months later the parasites leave the liver and go into the red blood cells. Once they are released into the blood, they begin attacking other blood cells. At this time the person begins to feel ill. If a mosquito bites this person, the mosquitoes and malaria cycle starts over as it is passed on to the next victim.

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