Montco Confirms One of Pa’s 1st West Nile Cases of 2013

Montco Confirms One of Pa's 1st  West Nile Cases of 2013

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Pennsylvania has confirmed this year’s first human cases of the West Nile Virus and one of them is in Montgomery County, according to the Pa. Department of Health.

 

The Montgomery County man was hospitalized and is being treated for the disease.

 

A second man in York County also tested positive for West Nile, although he wasn’t hospitalized.

 

Now, the health department is urging residents to minimize their mosquito exposure.

 

“Our first positive human case of West Nile Virus serves as a reminder of the importance of prevention and education,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “There are a few simple steps we can all take to help prevent the spread of this virus among our families and in our communities.”

 

The most important of the steps is making sure to remove all stagnant water from around the home. Bird baths, kiddie pools, or any object that could collect water are all potentional mosquito magnets.

 

The DEP also recommends staying indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active or using insect repellants containing DEET.

Monster mosquitoes

20 TIMES the size of a normal bug invade central Florida after heavy rains

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Giant mosquitoes the size of a quarter are invading central Florida and officials are warning residents to beware of the ‘notoriously aggressive’ bloodsuckers.

Entomologists at the University of Florida predicted the massive insects, known as gallinippers, would descend on the sunshine state in record numbers this year after drenching rains from Tropical Storm Debbie. Now the mammoth monsters have arrived, being spotted in Seminole County.

The frightening super mosquitoes, native to the eastern half of the United States, are 20 times the size of an ordinary mosquito and their bite is unusually painful.

Ouch: The giant gallinipper mosquito, pictured, is invading central Florida

Ouch: The giant gallinipper mosquito, pictured, is invading central Florida

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Scientists infect mosquitos with bacteria to curb malaria transmission

A mosquito is bloated with blood as it inserts its stinger into human flesh. (AFP)

 By Agence France-Presse

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US scientists have found a way to infect mosquitoes with bacteria in order to break the chain of malaria transmission, according to research published Thursday in a leading scientific journal.

A similar approach has helped cut back on dengue in some locations, and researchers hope that the findings could offer a path toward reducing malaria among the most common mosquitoes in the Middle East and South Asia.

The bacterial infection is inheritable and could be passed on for as many as 34 generations of mosquitoes, rendering them immune to malaria parasites, reported experts from the National Institutes of Health in the journal Science.

Scientists injected Anopheles mosquito embryos with Wolbachia, a common insect bacterium. When the mosquitoes matured, they bred the adult females with uninfected males.

The infection endured for 34 generations of mosquitoes. The study ended at that point, so it remains unknown how much longer the bacterial infection would have been passed on, preventing malaria transmission.

Researchers also tried introducing the bacterial infection in small numbers of adult mosquitoes, between five and 20 percent of females in a given population.

Within eight generations, all of the mosquitoes were infected with the malaria-blocking infection.

The evidence supports the “potential of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes as a malaria control strategy,” said the study.

Previous research has shown the bacterium could prevent malaria-inducing Plasmodium parasites from developing in Anopheles mosquitoes.

But in this study, scientists were able to show for the first time that they could create mosquitoes with a stable Wolbachia infection that passed consistently from mother to offspring.

Researchers also discovered that the infection killed malaria parasites both in the mosquitoes’ guts and in the salivary glands, the main avenue for transmission to humans via mosquito bites.

About 660,000 people die worldwide every year from malaria.

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