Fear of another disease: new malaria mosquito emerges in African cities

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Fear of another disease: new malaria mosquito emerges in African cities

Monitoring Desk : 

A new malaria mosquito has emerged in African cities, with potentially devastating consequences for the residents living, a new study warned.

The larvae of Anopheles stephensi — India’s main mosquito vector of malaria — are now “abundantly present” in locations across Africa, researchers from The Netherlands’ Radboud University Medical Center and Ethiopia’s Armauer Hansen Research Institute said. Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious pathogens between humans, or from animals to people.
This mosquito species only appeared in Africa a few years ago. Now, this invasive insect is “abundantly present” in water containers in cities in Ethiopia — and highly susceptible to local strains of malaria, researchers have said.
Most African mosquitoes that can transmit malaria are known to breed in rural areas. However, experts were already concerned this particular mosquito has found a foothold in urban areas, including cities in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti, which researchers said could increase the malaria risk for urban populations.
Malaria, which is transmitted through the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes, is both a preventable and treatable disease — yet 409,000 people died of it in 2019.
The African region was home to 94% of all malaria cases and deaths in 2019, according to the World Health Organization.
Researchers studied if the mosquitoes would pose a risk to health by spreading local malaria parasites.
“To our surprise, the Asian mosquito turned out to be even more susceptible to local malaria parasites than our Ethiopian mosquito colony. This mosquito appears to be an extremely efficient spreader of the two main species of malaria,” said Teun Bousema, professor of epidemiology of tropical infectious diseases at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, in a statement.
Information courtesy: cnn.com

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