Malaria and Mosquitoes
Currently mosquitoes and other insects are present at ever increasing levels all over the world including the UK because of climate change; the mild winters do not kill off that many and the remaining survivors have less competition. Also, the wet and warm weather we now experience in the UK is ideal for breeding insects. Malaria incidents of UK citizens contracting malaria went up by 5.7% last year and 74% of these cases were the Plasmodium falciparum parasite the most deadly form of malaria; we are at the top of the European country table for malaria contractions. Every year Britons die from this avoidable disease.
1 in 10 PEOPLE CONTRACT MALARIA WHILST ON ANTI-MALARIAL TABLETS!
insect populations are growing at an alarming rate and there is now a 50% chance that malaria will return to the UK in the next decade - this is according to a lecture Professor Steve Lindsay gave at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This is backed up by many other scientists and UK government agencies.
Apart from the sting and your reaction to a bite, mosquitoes carry a wide range of pathogens and their consequent diseases, the most prevalent being: dengue; malaria and Chikungunya. Nearly 1 billion people a year pick up a disease from a mosquito and mosquitoes are responsible for the deaths of 1 in every 17 people currently alive.*
All this mosquito-borne disease is on the increase worldwide due to drug, pesticide (DEET), and insecticide resistance, climate change, deteriorating health systems, wars and natural disasters. It is not all about mosquitoes either, diseases are caused by many other insects too. Insect stings are also on the increase, which isn’t that surprising when there are over 20,000 different species of wasp. Other dangerous insects include: tsetse fly, hornets, fleas and no-see-ums that can all cause serious problems for humans. Also, arachnids such as Ticks carry the potentially fatal Lymes disease. For many years there has been an outbreak of ticks and insects in mainland Europe, including Eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey. This year the UK is particularly bad too. incognito®spray, roll-on and suncream will protect you against all ticks – the active ingredient has tested 100% effective against them.
A knock-on effect of global warming, is that mosquitoes are becoming more prevalent, they have begun to carry diseases into areas previously thought safe. e.g. West Nile fever into Greece & the US along with malaria outbreaks in Europe and Chikungunya is endemic throughout the Caribbean & most of South America.
This is what happened to our founder Howard Carter: "On my first trip to India back in 1997 I was recommended to take a malaria prophylactic and was prescribed paludrine and avloclor by Trailfinders Travel Clinic in London.''
"I went to Cochin, Kerela, over New Year – a low risk area at a low risk time of year. I used a Deet-based repellent that had been recommended to me by an NHS doctor in the UK – needless to say, I still got bitten by mosquitoes! I received many bites, mainly around my ankles, as it was too hot for socks. Sure enough I contracted malaria. This was during a holiday weekend, so no doctor was available. I was delirious with a high temperature of 103 degrees, hot and cold sweats, vomiting and diarrhoea.''
''After a nightmare 1000 mile journey consisting of a 12-hour high-speed bus ride down steep hills followed by a train and finally a flight from Trivandrum back to Mumbai, I finally received medical treatment. If malaria is treated within two weeks it does not re-occur. I consider myself lucky that I caught it within this time." Click here for Howard’s experience
There are no vaccines to prevent dengue and many other insect-borne illnesses. No anti-malarial drug is 100% effective either. However, incognito®'s new formulation, used in conjunction with an impregnated mosquito net, is clinically proven to protect against malaria. It's a personal choice whether you still want to take anti-malarials or not. The side effects from some anti-malarials can be worse than contracting malaria itself! Many travellers choose not to take them and carry a malaria antidote with them instead, which stops those anti-malarials being over used. However, the malaria parasite is also becoming resistant to Artemisinin, so the only surefire way of not contracting it or any other mosquito-borne disease is not to getting bitten in the first place.
According to professor Curtis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine "it is only a matter of time before malaria is back in the UK."
Mosquitoes attack the animals that are most prevalent in their ecosystem. Therefore, in the Arctic they tend to leave humans alone in favour of Polar Bears! Mosquitoes have been around for over 120 million years – a lot longer than humans! In that time they have mutated into around 3,500 different species. We are particularly vulnerable to them. They can speedily build resistance over just a few generations, mutating in order to tolerate a chemical that was once poisonous to them, so they have been getting stronger and stronger. Slowly but surely they have built up resistance to even toxic chemicals like Deet, which is why this pesticide is not as effective as 50 years ago when it was first mass produced. The good news is that no mosquito has yet to build up any resistance to incognito® and nor will they for a good few years. It is imperative to protect yourself against insect bites when in warm climates.
*Taubes G, "A mosquito bites back" NY Times 24-8-1977.
Diseases & Mosquitoes
The trouble with pesticides is that apart from making the insects stronger –only the strongest or mutants survive the toxic chemical onslaught- the land gets polluted and many people die from pesticide poisoning; mainly agricultural workers through coming into contact with these deadly chemicals.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) between 1-3% of these workers suffer from acute pesticide poisoning and many of these are children; around a million cases worldwide require hospitalisation each year, though around 4 times this number do not recieve any medical treatment. It is estimated that up to 300 000 people die every year although a good few of these deaths are suicides -people ingesting pesticides, often farmers not able to pay the high prices of the now patented seeds from the likes of Monsanto. Not everyone realises that DEET is a pesticide and the only one that people apply directly to their skin! incognito® is as good at protecting you, so now nobody need slather a deadly neurotoxin all over their skin.
Bite Prevention Expert - Howard Carter
With a huge increase in biting insects now in the UK due to climate change, Howard Carter, incognito's expert in bite prevention, talks to the BBC about the current risk from biting insects and how to prevent being bitten.
Tune in below to listen to the some of the insightful discussions