Summer is upon us and that means that mosquitoes will soon be biting away at our skin. In fact, several US states are already seeing, and feeling, a mosquito presence. The Zika outbreaks that occurred a couple of years back have public health officials determined to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases among the public. Although it may surprise you, spreading awareness concerning proper mosquito bite-prevention techniques is not easy. The primary difficulty is getting the public to take the matter of mosquito-borne diseases seriously. However, a recent finding could make disease-prevention-awareness a thing of the past. Researchers in Kenya have recently found that a certain medication makes human blood poisonous to mosquitoes.
Nowhere are mosquitoes a bigger problem than they are for people living on the continent of Africa. Several mosquito-borne diseases that most Americans have never heard of are a daily reality in some African countries. One type of medication used to treat the mosquito-borne disease commonly known as river blindness is called Ivermectin. Ivermectin is also used to treat elephantiasis, but now researchers believe that it could save lives that would otherwise be lost to mosquito-borne diseases. researchers in Kenya gave 47 participants 600 milligrams of ivermectin for three consecutive days. The study researchers then fed the blood samples to several caged mosquitoes. Amazingly, the study found that subjects who had received three daily high doses of ivermectin developed blood that remained deadly to mosquitoes for twenty eight days. After the mosquitoes consumed the ivermectin-containing blood, they died within two weeks. According to one research official who worked on the study, the ivermectin-containing blood was still killing-off mosquitoes more than a month later. Researchers also administered ivermectin to forty eight other participants, but the deadly effect on mosquitoes did not last as long. The study researchers believe that people could take ivermectin in order to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases.
Do you think that administering ivermectin to entire populations is logistically or financially doable?
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