Archive for category Malaria

World Health Organization Reports Decline in Malaria Deaths

Mosquito Squad has been a proud supporter of Malaria No More for years. Their goal sounds simple: end malaria deaths, but much goes into it. Hundreds of thousands of people, primarily children, die from malaria each year.

But, there’s good news.

Photo Credit: Malaria No More

Photo Credit: Malaria No More

Yesterday, the World Health Organization published its 2014 World Malaria Report and report that there has been a 58% decline in the number of child deaths from malaria in Africa!

We can see the dedication working! More and more women and children have access to bed nets and treatment than ever before. But, the work isn’t done yet. There were still over 400,000 children that died of malaria last year in Africa.

Malaria No More and Mosquito Squad are committed to the fight against malaria not just in Africa, but worldwide. This holiday season, please donate to the cause at SwatMalaria.net.

As educational and medical help continues, here are some of the new innovations Malaria No More is supporting:

  • A malaria test that can detect malaria even if the patient isn’t displaying symptoms,
  • Better medication that can fight the disease more quickly, hopefully with just one pill,
  • More and better technology to help African clinics manage test and treatment stocks and predict outbreaks,
  • And vaccines that prevent humans from contracting malaria when bitten by an infected mosquito.

Ending malaria deaths may seem like a lofty goal, but it is entirely possible to see a world without malaria deals in our lifetime. It is both preventable and treatable. Experts were able to attack malaria and eradicate it from the United States in just a few years back in the 1940s and 50s. The Center for Disease Control was actually first created to address the growing issue of malaria in the US and now, we don’t worry about it here.

If you want to join in the fight and be part of the legacy of ending malaria deaths, please donate now to SwatMalaria.net.

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Bill Gates Makes Stand for Malaria Eradication

Bill Gates has long been a supporter of malaria eradication and research, but in a recent speech at Association of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene he once again brought it back into the spotlight.

Melinda and Bill Gates made their first call for malaria eradication 7 years ago alongside the World Health Organization. Since then, the Gates Foundation has made large donations to help the cause while spreading the word through speeches, blogs, etc. (don’t you remember when Gates released mosquitoes during a speech in 2009?).

While Gates addressed ebola (which is on everyone’s mind) in his speech at ASTMH, the majority of his time was spent discussing malaria because of his hope for the future. He explains in his blog that “based on the progress I’m seeing in the lab and on the ground, I believe we’re now in a position to eradicate malaria – that is, wipe it out completely in every country – within a generation.” Source.

Because of their optimism, the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation is increasing its donation to the malaria cause by 30%.

What many people don’t realize, is that malaria was an issue in the majority of the world not too long ago. It wasn’t eradicated from the United States until the 1950s, and that is without the knowledge and science that we have now. This video from Bill Gates’ blog is a great representation of where the disease was, where it is now, and where we’re going:

Mosquito Squad is a proud supporter of Malaria No More. We’re dedicated to seeing an end to malaria deaths and we’re seeing great progress. In the four short years we’re partnered with Malaria No More, we’ve seen the number of deaths in Africa decrease by 50%!

Malaria No More helps fight malaria by providing prevention, treatment and education to the areas of Africa most affected by this disease. Please help us in the fight by donating to Malaria No More at SwatMalaria.net.

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Do Mosquitoes Transmit Ebola?

Unless you’ve stayed away from all news for the last few weeks (and who really can do that), you’ve heard about the current Ebola epidemic in Africa and cases in the U.S. Ebola is a life threatening disease that currently doesn’t have a vaccine to fight it. One question we’ve been asked recently is can mosquitoes, who transmit numerous disease worldwide, infect people with Ebola?

In short, the answer is no.

2bMosquitoes aren’t born with malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever or other mosquito-borne disease. Female mosquitoes become carriers of those diseases after feeding on a person or animal already infected (only females suck blood). Because mosquitoes don’t go person to person biting, the disease has to survive a complicated digestion process to be passed on.

The reason female mosquitoes require blood is to create eggs. A female mosquito will take in enough blood to properly nourish her eggs and then go and digest. After laying her eggs, she will then require more blood. For her to infect a human with the disease, the viral strands need to stay in the gut and migrate into the mosquito’s saliva. The mosquito injects saliva into its victims as they bite. In the case of malaria, it evolves in the mosquito before getting into the saliva.

Right now, Ebola cannot make its way into the mosquito saliva. And until it can, mosquitoes cannot transmit Ebola.

Despite not playing an active role in the spread of Ebola, mosquitoes are still the most dangerous animal on the planet, killing over 700,000 people each year. They kill approximately 600,000 by infecting them with malaria. While malaria isn’t a threat in the United States, mosquitoes still transmit west nile, dengue fever and chikungunya domestically.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients by greatly reducing their property’s mosquito population with our mosquito control services. Our trained applicators visit our clients’ properties every 2-3 weeks and spray the areas where mosquitoes are most likely to feed and live, like bushes and trees. The spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact as well as settles on the vegetation. When a mosquito then goes to feed on a leaf, it will ingest the product.

If you have questions on how to protect your property from mosquitoes, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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A Robot that Fights Malaria?

Malaria, as we’ve discussed before, is a terrible mosquito-borne disease that kills over 600,000 people every year, yet it is both preventable and treatable. While health officials and non-profits like Malaria No More are helping to fight the battle against malaria, a Dallas tween is doing the same thing with a new invention.

An underwater army of Culex larvae, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

An underwater army of Culex mosquito larvae, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

David Cohen is a Texas based 12 year old who is a finalist in this year’s Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a robot that helps fight malaria.

Mosquitoes (whether they are carrying malaria or not) need water to breed. During their larval stage, they sit on the surface of the water to breathe and to continue the maturation process. Cohen’s robot stops them from further maturing by reaching them in this stage. Using a pump-jet system, the robot essentially drowns the mosquito by moving it away from the surface and trapping it under mesh.

Cohen first became aware of health issues that mosquitoes can cause after his sister had a staph infection after itching a mosquito bite.

Matched with his mentor Delong Langer-Anderson, Cohen began to look at how best to stop mosquito-borne illnesses from spreading. As Langer-Anderson explains: he “looked at the problem…in a different way. He asked ‘what if the mosquito was never born?’ …he’s never lost sight of the idea that if he can stop the mosquito from emerging from the larvae stage, he can prevent them from spreading disease.” Source.

Dread Skeeter and the whole Mosquito Squad is happy to support Malaria No More in their fight to end malaria deaths in Africa

Dread Skeeter and the whole Mosquito Squad is happy to support Malaria No More in their fight to end malaria deaths in Africa

While we’re not sure how Cohen’s robot will be used moving forward, we at Mosquito Squad are always happy to see people thinking up unique ways to decrease the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne illnesses. Congrats David!

Mosquito Squad joined the fight against malaria several years ago through our partnership with Malaria No More. Malaria No More has made great strides in helping to end malaria deaths through its educational, prevention and treatment programs.

If you’d like us to help fight malaria, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

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Scared of Sharks? How about Mosquitoes?

We all have fears. I’m deathly afraid of snakes, while I know multiple people who won’t swim in deep water for fear of sharks. After looking at a new infographic from Bill Gates, it seems we should be thinking smaller as the deadliest animal on the planet is smaller than a quarter. It is none other than the mosquito.

A swarm of mosquitoesBill Gates’ blog post The Deadliest Animal in the World clearly illustrates how many people certain animals kill each year, and the data is staggering. The shark kills only 10 people a year, the hippopotamus 500, and snakes kill around 50,000 people a year. Humans come in second place, killing 475,000 people a year, but the pesky mosquito came in first by a landslide. Each year, 725,000 people die because of a mosquito bite.

While we in the U.S. are simply annoyed by itchy mosquito bites, they still carry and transmit numerous dangerous diseases. Malaria is by far the worst, killing someone every minute and, as Gates explains, malaria “threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually” Source.

Bill Gates, who is a big supporter of Malaria No More, has donated a lot of time and money in fighting mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they transmit and not just malaria, but also dengue fever and West Nile Virus. Gates’ blog had “Mosquito Week” to bring attention to how serious they really are.

At Mosquito Squad, we are proud to fight against mosquitoes domestically and internationally. Internationally, we fight mosquito-borne disease through our relationship with Malaria No More.

Domestically, we fight the bite for our clients, allowing them to take back their yards and enjoy their outdoor spaces again. As the mosquito control experts, we offer a few different mosquito services:

  • Our traditional barrier spray is applied every 2-3 weeks to reduce the client’s mosquito population by 85-90%.
  • Mosquito Squad’s all natural mosquito treatment repels 85% of the mosquitoes with its smell (don’t worry, humans can’t smell it).
  • For clients having outdoor events, weddings, graduation parties, etc., we offer special events sprays to keep mosquitoes off the guest list.

If you have questions regarding the best mosquito control service for your home, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Next Friday is World Malaria Day

Next Friday, April 25th, marks the 7th Annual World Malaria Day. World Malaria Day was founded in 2007 by the World Health Organization as “an occasion to highlight the need for continued investment and sustained political commitment for malaria prevention and control” Source.

Many Americans don’t remember (or weren’t born during) a time when malaria plagued the United States, but it did! During World War II, the US started the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas (it is now the Centers for Disease Control) that focused on stopping malaria around military training camps in the southern half of the country. The efforts were successful and in 1947 a movement to eradicate malaria from the country started. In just two short years, malaria was no longer a major health concern in the United States.

While we haven’t had to struggle with malaria for over 60 years locally, it still kills an estimated 627,000 people globally every year. Africa is the hardest hit continent, but progress is happening! The malaria incidence rate has decreased by 25% globally since 2000 with increased awareness and commitment.

Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad is happy to support Malaria No More in their mission to end malaria deaths in Africa

Dread Skeeter and the rest of the Mosquito Squad is happy to support Malaria No More in their mission to end malaria deaths in Africa

World Malaria Day’s theme for 2014 and 2015 is simple: “Invest in the future. Defeat malaria.” And with our partner, Malaria No More, Mosquito Squad is doing just that.

For the past three years, Mosquito Squad has committed itself to fighting malaria through our partnership with Malaria No More, a nonprofit with the goal of ending malaria deaths in Africa. Malaria No More provides bed nets, malaria tests, treatment and education in areas of Africa that are hard hit with this preventable and treatable vector-borne disease.

In 2013, we saved over 50,000 lives with our contributions. Every dollar can save a life, literally. Just one dollar can provide both a test and five-day treatment, saving a life.

In January of this year, we laid out Dread’s Challenge, a three year goal of saving 250,000 lives in Africa. If you want to help us fight the bite, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net.

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Did the Nazis Study Mosquitoes as Weapons During WWII?

New research from Tubingen University sheds light on some studies done at one concentration camp during World War II. Researcher Dr. Klaus Reinhardt says that there were biological weaponry studies conducted surrounding mosquitoes and malaria, a scary thought.

mosquito-controlReinhardt was studying the work of Nazi Waffen SS when he found information surrounding a “Entomological Institute” at the Dachau concentration camp in Dachau, Germany. The bug research was first ordered to help combat issues with lice and typhoid fever amongst the Nazi troops.

As Germany began to feel more pressure from both sides in 1944, the Entomological Institute turned their research to mosquitoes, and it wasn’t for mosquito control options. The Nazis looked at different species of mosquitoes to see which one would be most resilient in extreme conditions. Once the best specie was determined, they would be infected with malaria and dropped into enemy territory.

Through studies managed by Eduard May, the Anopheles mosquito was considered the best mosquito for the mission.

Dr. Reinhardt says the experiments happened at Dachau concentration camp “in conjunction with another notorious Nazi experiment – inoculating prisoners with malaria.” Source. The doctor behind infecting prisoners with malaria was executed after the Nuremberg trials.

Luckily, the use of mosquitoes as weapons did not come into fruition; however, they are the deadliest animal on earth. Every year, millions of people die from a mosquito-transmitted disease, with the majority being from malaria.

At Mosquito Squad, we are proud to support Malaria No More. Their goal is end malaria deaths in Africa. Malaria is both preventable and treatable with a set of pills that cost less than $1. So every dollar given, is a life saved.

What many Americans may not be aware of is that malaria was a major health concern in the U.S. until it was eradicated in 1951. The Centers for Disease Control was actually initially founded as part of the concentrated effort to rid the US of the deadly disease.

To help support Malaria No More, please donate now at SwatMalaria.net. We want to thank all of our tick and mosquito control clients that help us give to this effort. In 2013 alone, Mosquito Squad was able to save over 55,000 lives with our support of Malaria No More.

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