World Mosquito Day

World Mosquito Day is celebrated every year on August 20 to commemorate the discovery of Ronald Ross in 1897 which established that the Anopheles mosquitoes transmit the malaria parasite to humans. The purpose to celebrate the day is to raise awareness and alertness regarding the diseases caused by mosquitoes and ways to prevent them.

As UPSC surprises aspirants with questions linked with what usually is assumed to be trivia; it is advisable that one must scroll through the facts about World Mosquito Day to get the basic information. It can be asked in UPSC Prelims from the section of current affairs, if at all asked.

List of Current Affairs Articles for UPSC

Facts about World Mosquito Day for UPSC Exam

Read the below-mentioned facts about World Mosquito Day; and aid your IAS Exam preparation along with other competitive exams’ preparation.

Observed on 20 August
Theme of 2021 ‘Reaching the zero malaria target’.
Theme of 2020 Malaria
Sir Ronal Ross Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that Anopheles mosquitoes transmit the malaria parasite to humans.

The topic can be asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims. Visit the attached link to attempt practice quizzes on current affairs.

To read more about the other Important International and National days click on the link. Such days and events become very important for UPSC Prelims.

About World Mosquito Day, 2021

  • Mosquitoes are although very small in size but are the only predator that has thrived through the centuries. They may also cause death through vector-borne diseases. In fact, according to a report, it is counted among the world’s deadliest, killing more than seven lakh people each year.
  • Before the groundbreaking discovery which gave the connection between mosquitoes and Malaria, the world was in the dark about the connection of these mosquitoes and the deadly disease caused by them.
  • World Mosquito Day 2021 was celebrated under the theme for ‘Reaching the zero malaria target’.
  • The theme for the year 2020 was ‘Malaria’
  • The day is celebrated to laud the healthcare officials, NGOs and government agencies for the steps they have taken in helping people fight against various incurable diseases caused by Malaria.

Background of World Mosquito Day

  • World Mosquito Day has been celebrated on 20 August since 1930. The day marks the historic discovery by Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor in 1897 about the female Anopheles mosquitoes and how they were responsible for transmitting the malaria parasite, a life-threatening disease.
  • The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine organises the annual event to mark the British doctor’s work.
  • Sir Ronald Ross received the Nobel Prize in medicine for the path-breaking discovery. 

Significance of the World Mosquito Day

Since the general public needs to be educated about healthy living habits and simple ways to avoid mosquito breeding around their homes, the day is very significant.

  • The primary activity of the day is assisting the people to take precautions regarding the spread of Malaria and other deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes.
  • World Mosquito Day underscores the efforts of healthcare officials, NGOs, and others in fighting diseases caused by malaria.
  • People are gathered on the day to educate them, create awareness and spread the word about preventing mosquito-causing diseases. 
  • Many charitable trusts and organisations help distribute mosquito nets, coils and quinine to people, especially those families with younger and aged citizens.

Diseases caused by Mosquitoes

Some of the common diseases caused by mosquitoes are-

  • Malaria, caused by a parasite, is transmitted by an Anopheles mosquito. The disease is mostly prevalent in tropical or subtropical regions. Quinine is a medication used to treat malaria. 
  • Dengue is transmitted by Aedes Albopictus and Aedes Aegypti. Dengue is also found in countries with tropical and sub-tropical climates and mostly in urban areas.  
  • Yellow Fever, prevalent in Africa and parts of South America, is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The symptoms of the disease are similar to malaria but also include nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.
  • Japanese Encephalitis is also transmitted by mosquitoes like the Aedes or Culiseta mosquitoes. The symptoms may include high fever, stiff neck, headache, confusion, and lethargy/sleepiness.
  • Zika, a viral disease, is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito which bites during the day. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Symptoms of the disease last for several days to a week. During pregnancy, zika is seen to cause serious birth defect microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome. In rare cases, Zika can also lead to Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
  • Chikungunya, transmitted through Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes, also causes symptoms like headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, and muscle pain. 
  • West Nile Virus is transmitted by various species, the primary species known is Culex Pipiens. Some flu-like symptoms occur and in rare cases, permanent neurological damage or death may also occur.

Also, read about Zoonotic Diseases in the linked article.

Prevention from Mosquito-causing diseases

  • Vector surveillance must be done for early detection of mosquito populations to take adequate measures to control them at the initial stage.
  • Several precautions can be taken to prevent these vector-causing diseases such as the use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs), mosquito repellents like the Good Knight Activ+ System, and indoor residual spraying (IRS).
  • Elimination of mosquito breeding by covering all water containers, emptying and drying water tanks, containers, coolers, bird-baths etc. i.e., discarding items that collect rainwater from open spaces, check the clogged gutters and flat roofs that may have poor drainage.
  • Introducing larvivorous fishes in ornamental water tanks/gardens or nearby ponds can help prevent diseases.

Note: As UPSC 2022 approaches, use BYJU’S free Daily Video Analysis of The Hindu Newspaper to augment your preparation.

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