The World Mosquito Day is observed every year on August 20 to raise awareness about the causes of malaria. The observance of the day seeks to created awareness to prevent and also to fundraise for research into the cure of malaria.
World Mosquito Day also marks groundbreaking discovery of British doctor, Sir Ronald Ross when he had identified link between mosquitoes and malaria way back in in 1897. He had found that female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans. This discovery had laid foundations for scientists across world to better understand the deadly role of mosquitoes in disease transmission and come up with effective innovative interventions. Sir Ross is responsible for annual observance of World Mosquito Day, which was declared shortly after his discovery.
Mosquitoes are small, midge-like flies that constitute the family Culicidae. They have been around for over hundred million years now and diseases caused and spread by them leads to loss of several lives. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes have already been described. They are generally divided into two subfamilies, Anophelinae and Culicinae which in turn comprise some 43 genera.
Female mosquitoes are ectoparasites, whose tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) pierce hosts’ skin to consume blood for its own survival. Many species of mosquitoes are vectors of diseases. In passing from host to host, some transmit extremely harmful infections such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses.
Mosquitoes are most deadliest animal in the world, as around 6 million deaths every decade occur due to vector borne diseases transmitted by it. Deadliest among them are Malaria (transmitted through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes), Dengue (transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquito), Zika virus (also transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes), Chikungunya (spreads through bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito) and Yellow fever (infected mosquitoes of Aedes species).