Articles on Mosquitoes

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Cages full of hand reared yellow fever mosquitoes await research (or possibly release) Cameron Webb, NSW Health Pathology/University of Sydney

Pitting mozzies against mozzies to stop the spread of disease

Upscaling the success of emerging mosquito control technologies relies on automating the rearing and release of millions of mosquitoes. Australia is to become the testing ground for a novel strategy.
The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil had Australian travellers on alert but transmission is only possible in tropical Queensland. Cameron Webb

Common Australian mosquitoes can’t spread Zika

New research shows common local mosquitoes aren’t able to spread Zika. This means Australia is unlikely to see a major outbreak of the disease. But a risk remains in northern Queensland.
Most cases of Zika are asymptomatic. Airman Magazine/U.S. Air Force Photo/Tech. Sgt. Brandon Shapiro/Flickr

Zika virus: Only a few small outbreaks likely to occur in the continental US

A computer model suggests that while more cases of Zika can be expected in the continental U.S. outbreaks will probably be small and are not projected to spread.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes at the Laboratory of Entomology and Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the CDC in San Juan. Alvin Baez/Reuters

Understanding mosquitoes can help us find better ways to kill them

While no one likes getting bitten by mosquitoes, you might be surprised (and even a little fascinated) at the complex adaptions mosquitoes have developed to locate their favorite food sources.
The Koka Reservoir in Ethiopia. Steps have been taken to reduce malaria infections without sacrificing the primary purposes of the dam. David Stanley/Flickr

How building new dams is adding to Africa’s malaria burden

The construction of dams in Africa, in some cases, bring an unintended consequence – an increase in malaria in the surrounding areas.
Is a Zika vaccine being tested ahead of vaccines for other flaviviruses because Zika’s occurring in the context of an international sporting competition? Christian Bruna/AAP

News of Zika vaccine might be reassuring, but it’s too late for Rio, and do we really need it anyway?

Recently two events concerning the Zika epidemic coincided: two potential vaccines against the virus were declared a success when used in mice, and Jason Day withdrew from the Olympic Games.
A human-dependent mosquito, the range of the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti is projected to grow in the U.S. and affect more people globally. sanofi-pasteur/flickr

Global warming to expose more people to Zika-spreading mosquito Aedes aegypti

More people in the U.S. and world will be exposed to the disease-carrying mosquito Aedes aegypti, not just because of warmer temperatures but global population changes as well.
A book about Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is seen next to larvae in a laboratory conducting research on preventing the spread of the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, at the Ministry of Public Health in Guatemala City. Josue Decavele/Reuters

Zika: Aedes aegypti mosquitoes love biting humans, and that’s why they spread viruses so well

Aedes aegypti is adapted to live in close proximity with humans, and this close association likely contributes to the severity of the Zika outbreak.
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?

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