After years of development, the Chinese government has managed to eradicate the largest and most dangerous mosquito population in the world. These pests have killed over ten million people on some continents and infect up to 200 million people with diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
On December 18, over 100 million of the world’s most dangerous mosquitos were killed in China. The country was placed on a Western Union reporting list, “Pests that are Destroying the World,” as they prepare to eradicate 14 species of mosquito.
The announcement came via the Chinese government’s five-year malaria elimination plan which was first reported by the LA Times. A previous plan, which was put in place in 1995, succeeded in drastically decreasing malaria cases and deaths by ninety percent from a peak of nearly four million cases.
The eradication plan, titled “Sixteen Years of Strong Reducing Childhood Malaria,” works with community organizations, schools, and corporations to help eradicate mosquitoes that carry other diseases. The strategy places a big focus on eliminating the Aedes aegypti species, which is known to carry five diseases: yellow fever, chikungunya, dengue fever, Zika virus, and the largest and most dangerous of all, malaria.
Trees were planted in urban areas, as well as hospitals and schools, in order to trap and kill mosquito larvae. They are also sprayed with chemicals that completely suppress their immune systems. The public was also encouraged to reduce their contact with stagnant water, a source of breeding. Malaria started spreading in the 1990s as a result of introduction of the mosquito species in China.
The most dangerous mosquito is the largest, the Aedes aegypti. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that the type is a brown, African tiger mosquito with a fuschia-colored shell, and gets its name because it drags a fat mark around on its head. It is dangerous because it thrives in places such as prisons, schools, parks, and gardens.
The Aedes aegypti can carry up to a hundred viruses and its larvae develop so fast that they travel from bug to bug. There is even an insecticide used to knock the mosquito off of target sites. In China, it was estimated that it kills more than 10 million people annually, and causes about 200,000 cases of dengue fever, which is an extremely viral illness that can become a deadly disease.
The goal of eliminating the Aedes aegypti from China is to make people better protected against the Aedes mosquito, particularly during high-risk periods when mosquitoes are in prime position to transmit disease. Malaria is now no longer a leading cause of death in China, and, according to the World Health Organization, there have been significant reductions in other vector-borne diseases. The strategy remains critical as more outbreaks are expected to occur.
Source: The LA Times, Chinese government