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Malaria and Mosquito Nets

  • By: James D. Robinson, Jeanine Turner & Tom Skill
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Epidemiologists call mosquitoes the most dangerous animals in the world because they are a vector for a variety of diseases, including West Nile virus, Dengue fever, and malaria. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by parasites and typically transmitted by an infected female Anopheles mosquito. The World Health Organization describes malaria as the “world's most important parasitic infectious disease,” and in 2010 estimated there were 219 million cases and approximately 660,000 malaria-related deaths worldwide. Ninety percent of all malaria deaths occur to poverty-stricken children under the age of 5 who are living in sub-Saharan Africa and represent nearly 20 percent of all childhood deaths worldwide.

While treatable with chloroquine phosphate, malaria prevention has generally been accomplished with mosquito netting. The nets have been treated with pesticides ...

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