Why should we study mosquitos in our area?
By Mullica Jaroensutasinee, Krisanadej Jaroensutasinee, Walailak University
Rebecca Boger, Brooklyn College and Elena Sparrow, UAF
Before we try to answer this, we should ask ourselves about how much do we know about them? For example, how many mosquito species present in our area? Would they carry some diseases? Where are their main breeding sites? Would they prefer to bite kids than adults and elderly? What time of year? What time of day would they most active (biting us)?
Let us give you some example on mosquitos that are main vector for dengue fever. With the continued absence of an effective vaccine against four viral serotypes or chemotherapy for the prevention and treatment of dengue fever, primary prevention of dengue is currently possible only with the control of mosquitos and with personal protection from the bites of infected mosquitoes.
This is where GLOBE schools (teachers and students come to play a major role).
Active participation by the GLOBE teachers and students is essential for control, especially to ensure that the water containers, which have been eliminated by the control teams, are not systematically replaced by the residents. A previous study showed that education of school students could be a crucial factor for initiating community engagement and participation in the control of the mosquito transmitter of malaria, dengue virus, and filarial parasites. The school environment is ideal for the development of an educational module on dengue, principally because of its division by age and level of knowledge, allowing teaching to be conducted at different levels of complexity. The presence of the teacher together with students throughout the year is conducive to the maintenance of the initial sensitization designed to induce participation in the reduction of larval habitats in their homes. Actual information alone is not sufficient to effect behavioral changes.
GLOBE students can collect mosquito larvae, find some association between mosquito larvae and with many GLOBE protocols e.g. air temperature, humidity, wind speed, rainfall, rain pH, water pH, and water temperature. Students could do mosquito larvae data entry on the GLOBE website under Hydrosphere. If you have some questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us.
Let's get out, do it and enjoy;-)