Mosquito borne diseases

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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?
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.
Detecting viruses in wild-caught mosquitoes provides intimate detail of disease transmission cycles. University of Washington SPH/Flickr

How a new test is revolutionising what we know about viruses in our midst

We monitor mosquitoes to help predict and control virus outbreaks. And a new technique for collecting mosquito saliva from the field has made the process both more sensitive and inexpensive.
Female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue fever when enjoying blood meals. James Gathany

Modifying mosquitoes to stop transmission of dengue fever

Annihilate the Aedes aegypti mosquito population and you'd stop dengue fever from infecting up to 100 million people worldwide annually. Here are some high-tech methods under development.
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…
There are up to 400 chemical compounds on human skin that could play a role in attracting mosquitoes. sookie/Flickr

Health Check: why mosquitoes seem to bite some people more

There’s always one in a crowd, a sort of harbinger of the oncoming mosquito onslaught: a person mosquitoes seem to target more than others. What is it about these unlucky chosen few that makes them mosquito…
Some rat, possum and mozzie species thrive when living close to people. Mark Philpott/Flickr

Urbanisation brings animals and diseases closer to home

Our world is becoming increasingly urbanised. In 1950, just 30% of the world’s population lived in urban areas. This number is now over 50% and rising. By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population are…
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…

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