27 June 2005

Dengue — coming soon to a mosquito near you


Very bad news from the Bangkok Post today — male mosquitoes here in Thailand have been found to carry the dengue virus. (It had been found in male mosquitoes in Singapore in 2001.) Previously it had been found only in the female. The male mosquitoes pose no direct threat to humans, since they don't bite us, but they are able to transmit the virus to females, who then pass it on to humans. So I would expect the virus to spread much faster through the mosquito population, and human infection rates to increase.

In its milder forms, such as my bout with it, dengue is pretty unpleasant. Repeated infections generally get progressively worse, and can lead to death. In fact, dengue kills more Cambodians than malaria does.