Mosquito

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Even if Zika sometimes causes pregnant mothers to have babies with microcephaly, this does not necessarily mean every infected mother would have an affected baby. coniferconifer/Flickr

What are the real risks of Zika?

Despite all the hype around Zika, crucial questions remain unanswered. How great is the risk that infection during pregnancy would result in a baby with microcephaly? And what can be done to prevent this?
Municipal workers wait before spraying insecticide to prevent the spread of Aedes aegypti mosquito at Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 26, 2016. Pilar Olivares/Reuters

Explainer: where did Zika virus come from and why is it a problem in Brazil?

Zika was discovered almost 70 years ago, but wasn't associated with outbreaks until 2007. So how did this formerly obscure virus wind up causing so much trouble in Brazil?
There is little doubt the virus can make it to Australia. mrfiza/Shutterstock

Does Zika virus pose a threat to Australia?

They’re small, spindly insects but their threat never dwindles – the bites of mosquitoes threaten death and disease in many parts of the world.
Many more where these came from. Shutterstock

Buzz, buzz, slap! Why flies can be so annoying

A good summer picnic, bushwalk or barbecue with friends and family can all be ruined by those annoying flies that never leave you alone. So what are they after?
The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti isn’t put off by this ‘mosquito repellent’ wrist band. Cameorn Webb

Health Check: do wrist bands work to repel mozzies?

While slipping on a wrist band or sticking on a patch may be an attractive alternative, they’re unlikely to provide any substantial protection from biting mosquitoes.
For exposed skin, there really isn’t an alternative to topical insect repellents. LoloStock/Flickr

Chemical or natural: what’s the best way to repel mozzies?

Mosquitoes need blood to survive. And what better place to get a good meal than a slow, tasty human. Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying. Every year around 5,000 Australians get sick following a mosquito bite…
Someone didn’t put on the DEET. This is the Yellow Fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. Stephen Doggett/Pathology West - ICPMR Westmead

Sniffing out new repellents: why mozzies can’t stand the DEET

The smell of mozzie repellent is as much a part of summer as barbecues and the cricket. Despite supermarket and pharmacy shelves overflowing with insect repellents, there are actually only a few active…
The pest hides out in pot plants and rainwater tanks, and feeds on humans and pets. Clivid/Flickr

Aussie mozzie found in urban California

An Australian native mosquito has for the first time been detected in urban California, in the latest wave of mozzies hitching…
The saltmarsh mosquito, Aedes vigilax, transmits Ross River virus in many coastal regions of Australia. Mr Stephen Doggett (Medical Entomology, Pathology West - ICPMR Westmead)

Explainer: what is Ross River virus?

Ross River virus infection is the most commonly reported mosquito-borne disease in Australia, with more than 4,000 cases of illness are reported every year. Activity has been recorded from every state…
Enjoy it while it lasts. DeGust

Fighting malaria requires new diagnostic tools

Malaria hits rural dwellers in poor countries the hardest. Those bitten by the wrong mosquito often do not know for many days that they have contracted malaria. Some have little or no access to doctors…

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