World Mosquito Day 2019: History, significance and fun facts about mosquitoes

World Mosquito Day 2019: History, significance and fun facts about mosquitoes

World Mosquito Day is an annual celebration on August 20, in remembrance of a British doctor, Sir Ronald Ross’s discovery in 1897 revealing that ‘female mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans’. World Mosquito Day is celebrated to raise awareness about the causes of malaria and how it can be prevented. The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine celebrate this day.

History and Significance

World Mosquito Day originated in 1897 by Ronald Ross of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. After dissecting mosquitoes known to have fed on a patient with malaria, Ross discovered the malaria parasite in the stomach wall of the mosquito.

Through further research using malarious birds, Ross was able to ascertain the entire life cycle of the malarial parasite, including its presence in the mosquito’s salivary glands. Ross confirmed that malaria is transmitted from infected birds to healthy ones by the bite of a mosquito, a finding that suggested the disease’s mode of transmission to humans.

Facts about mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread diseases to humans causes millions of deaths every year. Generally we believe that mosquitoes bite humans because they need to feed on human blood, but this is not true.

Actually, female mosquitoes suck blood in order to help with the development of their eggs prior to laying them. Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood at all.

Only female mosquitoes require a blood meal and bite animals while male mosquitoes do not bite but feed on the nectar of flowers or other suitable sugar source.

Mosquitoes are cold-blooded and prefer temperatures over 80 degrees. At temperatures less than 50 degrees, they shut down for the winter. The adult females of some species find holes where they wait for warmer weather, while others lay their eggs in freezing water and die. The eggs keep until the temperatures rise, and they can hatch.

According to the American Mosquito Control Association, there are over 3,000 different species of mosquitoes throughout the world.

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