Friday, May 04, 2007

Mosquitoes Transmitting Only An Itch & Fever

I have a cheap red wine headache. I am a day late on a deadline & still not finished. And I am realising that these two together mean one sour stalemate.

So in an attempt to regain thinking ability, here is a post about those bitches of buzzing female blood-feasting creatures – Malaria-Transmitting Mosquitoes. Especially for Louisa who has requested an explanation of why they cannot transmit HIV…

There is no epidemiological evidence. (That dumb big word which I can never pronounce means “the science of disease transmission”).
…this is further supported by examples of children (who show no signs of sexual activity) becoming regularly infected with mosquito-borne diseases, but not HIV. Yet they live in an area where both diseases are prevalent.

But these spawn-of-Satan insects can transmit malaria, so why not HIV?

This is because malaria, as well as yellow fever & dengue, have adapted to multiply in the body of mosquitoes before the mosquito infects a human.

HIV, being the weakling it is in some areas, cannot even survive the hostile environment of the mossie’s tummy, let alone multiply there.

ALSO, mosquitoes do not inject BLOOD into their victim, only their saliva (which is an anti-clogging agent).

But if HIV transmission is possible via needles, and the little mosquito also has a needle-like feeding instrument – its proboscis… then what about possible mechanical transmission!?

Ah but no!
- The proboscis is many times smaller than the needle of a syringe. And even with metal needle pricks, the chances of HIV transmission are low;
- Far less blood can stick to the much smaller proboscis (I am hating typing this word out as much as I hate saying that “epi” word!!) = even less chance;
- A virus would need to be far more infectious than HIV before it could be transmitted by such a small quantity of blood.

Therefore, this way is so unlikely, scientists are happy to call it impossible.

The way the lady sucks your blood – her feeing behaviour – makes it even more unlikely:
“The female mosquito usually takes her blood meal from one person only. After drinking her fill, she sits for more than an hour, usually on a vertical surface like a wall, to get rid of all the excess fluids from the ingested blood, retaining only the high concentration of blood proteins which she needs for the development of her eggs. After that she fly away, and it may be many more days before she needs another blood meal” (Van Dyk, A – HIV/AIDS Care & Counselling. 2005)

So there you have it. The lady may be a bitch. But at least she is not a HIV-transmitting bitch.

Nonetheless, I will drink a Gin n Tonic this evening in the spirit of chasing all mosquito bites away from my delectable body.

25 comments:

Jam said...

It's G n' T's huh?
Well I woke up and found a tick crawling over me last night. I was wondering about ticks and the spread of HIV. I squashed the tick. It was full of blood. Hopefully not mine. Poor tick.

Lost-in-Jozi said...

It's not the gin, it's the tonic!
Supposedly contains traces of quinine which was used as en effective anti-malaria whatsit!
Still prefer the gin, mind you!

Jam said...

Lost-in-jozi - is that effective against tick bite fever?

hot pink flush said...

i dont even wanna think about the monster we would have in an airborne bitch-biting HIV-transmitting zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz-sounding creepy crawly....*ugh*

Champagne Heathen said...

Jamaloni - we will ensure you poison any possible tick bite fever right out of you this evening!

Lost-in-jozi - ja ja ja, I have heard such dodgy rumours spread about. In my (completey unscientific) opinion, I see it as the reaction caused when the tonic meets the gin. Therefore you require BOTH to be safe! BOTH!! Do not let anyone fool you otherwise!

Plus, bleaugh, I could not imagine drinking PLAIN tonic. Shudder.

HPF - a hollywood movie in the making! And one I would not even watch on tv for fear of insomnia for a week following!

ChewTheCud said...

Did you know mosquito repellent doesn't really repel mosquitoes, it just makes you invisible to them ;)

Insane Insomniac said...

I've learnt that copious amounts of garlic and citronella oil are great at keeping mozzies at bay.
Unless you're in Mozambique. they have mutated and can now carry you away at night.
If i wanted to be drained of all my blood, i'd choose a hot looking vampire, thank you very much.

Revolving Credit said...

Not sure if it help, but I seem to have a bit of a not so cheap red wine headache.

On the mozzie thing, what if we all just dressed in mosquito netting....everyone would go round looking like the Bride of Frankenstein.

use it, don't use it.

Jam said...

Thanks Champs. Can't wait for the poisoning experiment to begin.

Louisa said...

Thank you Champs :-)
Very enlightening...

I am however wondering why if a mosquitoe only drinks from one person she has to bite me in 6 or 7 different locations while she does it? Just wondering

Anton said...

One thing nice about a lunch break is being able to check out and comment on interesting blog entries.

Now for my wonderous ability to sidetrack an entry while remaining vaquely in the vicinity of sound entry.

I'm different to other people. At least, my blood is. Or it could be the scent of my skin, whichever, but I was a popular kid for sleep-overs with Catholic Priests because of it.

(No, just kidding, if one can find a joke about child molestation funny in this country...)

With the other kids - mainly during the rainy season (Summer) in Durban. Because, like the arrows of the Persians in the sexy action flcik 300, the mosquito HORDES would blot out the sky (or maybe my childhood hatred of them clouded my memory of it being a New Moon three times a month [I think it's three times a month, though only one night actually involves a true New Moon - or as I like to call it, an Assassin's Moon, being that Ninjas and what-not favoured New Moon nights for raids, assassination, and intelligence gathering]).

And if there were six people in a room, sleeping after giggling about which girls they fancied (and not do anything about it - most people grow out of that stage: le sigh), I was the one not sleeping. I was the one slowly being driven mad by the constant bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz in my fucking ears. And it does drive one mad: like the Chinese Water Torture
(actually a misnomer - the Chinese never invented it, although to a great many Tibetans, this fact is irrelevant) the mosquito fucks off long enough for you to just get comfortable and then... bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It probably did drive me mad - which explains a lot, hey Hot Pink Flush - but many years later I discovered a wonderful cure to the little bitches. A FAN. A nice big one with three settings. And also basic mosquito genocide tricks. Like finding standing water in your vicinity (if there's a lot of mozzies around you WILL find standing water and you WILL see the disgusting creatures wrickling around in it) and you get some meth. spirits and some fucking DOOM and you commit an act that, if equated to human beings, would mean you're going to the Hague, have a faux trial and get hanged, or you're a dictator with no real natural resources in your country (tobacco does NOT count).

And then you finally get some fucking decent sleep...

Champagne Heathen said...

Chews - so it blinds them like, say, teargas?! And THANKS for your gorgeous post today.

Insanity - Oooo do you know where to find any such hot vampires!?! Nothing like a bit of kink to rev up the love life and all!

Rev - it would make for interesting sex. Or are there zips in relevant areas & you just have to be very quick with, well, getting yourself recovered?

Jamaloni - nearly nearly nearly!!

Louisa - it's like women going to public bathrooms. They go in groups. Well, that's my opinion. I recommend finding an insect scientist to rather confirm this!

Ah, thanks for visiting me during your lunch break Anton!

So who did invent the Water Torture?

And what happens if you don't have some standing water which to source the mosquitoes to?

maurice said...

very nice. Intresting coluom. Very intrigued. have a nice day. Oh, and I have a big penis.

Anton said...

Then you look for Maurice and his big penis. There could be an infestation...

A flame-thrower may be required...

maurice said...

touchee

Jam said...

Maurice - I see you still have not mastered the art of typing.

DaveRich said...

I mmuch prefer Gin and Tonic to Citronella oil. That stuff tastes like crrrap!

Champagne Heathen said...

Maurice - ha ha! Always an important statement to make during any introductions!

Anton - HA HA HA!! Ouch!

Jamaloni - but he is getting there. He will learn yet.

Dave - I hate to think what kinda of nigth it was to have caused you to accept the dare to down citronella oil!

maurice said...

ok.quick one before end . you are probabley one of those ngo types-out to safe the world. Ngo's are probabley my worst type of people. All they care about is ghaving sex with 1. other ngos or 2. poor disaparate local where they are stationed. I wwas once sitting around a group of ngos in tofo mozambik (faTtimas nest- a shit hole if ever their was on) and they were accusing me of being a s african and therefor having a crap stance of aids. I told them its true. All we care about is flashy cars and cash- fuck hiv. Rhey were like shocked.

Oh i also hate ngos cos they are spoiled europeans not knowing what to do with themselves. "why don't i go and save a starving aids baby" before i settle down in stockhom and drive a volvo and get a job in a captialist pig bank.

jesus.

but you, champagne, seem to be a little different.

maurice said...

male ngos also have small winkys

Anton said...

Dude, please stop projecting and over-compensating. Why don't you try do it the typical yuppie way, and buy a fancy sportscar?

Anton said...

Ok, I apologise for the double post, but I'm trying to work out if Maurice meant:

touchy = which means he definitely deserves ridicule as a silly troll

or

touche (with a little accent on the "e") = in which case he may be a silly troll, but he has some honour, and is something I can respect (a bit).

And will we ever know? We may not, at least at until a guy named Dennis, with a strangely similar posting style graces another female blog part of this circle.

Annoying: this is why I prefer to watch four episodes of a TV show at any one time. I hate waiting for the next installment.

Even if MR BIG (dick) is not so much a Hiro Nagamura, and more of a Steve Carell...

Champagne Heathen said...

Maurice - thank you. If you mean that I am different, in a good way.

Yes, I do know what you mean about CERTAIN NGO workers who are doing it out of a hobby, as a way to live "on the wild rough side of life" for a bit before returning to safety & 1st world comforts & never really considering again what they experiences & the people they left behind. Ah well, they did help in SOME way I hope.

I also was told of some "NGO" types who came over from the States to help with the HIV epidemic in one Southern African country, didn't learn the very lessons they were teaching, & had risky sex left-right-and-centre. And returned home with HIV! Fodgodsake. Idiots!

BUT I also know of such types who are "converted" while they are here. They realise that these are people, who are equal in intelligence & needs & personality, to them. They are no longer "saving the starving African". Now they are trying to create opportunities for PEOPLE who happen to have been born onto a continent that does not have easy access to global resources & opportunities.

I also have met some incredible foreign (and local) NGO workers who came over here with the right ideas, with open minds, or whose minds have since been open & have realised that not all white S.Africans are exploiting racists. And they remain for as long as they can. And start up & maintain incredible projects.

I cannot comment on male NGO workers' penis sizes. I struggle to think of any incidence where I would have seen one. Should I find out, I will be sure to let you know! (Actually, I probably won't, knowing me, but you can think i will).

Anton, thank you for the defence! Most kind of you! Not too sure what you are on about after the word "Dennis" though. But then I did just run out of coffee, so I am slightly distracted!

Ok, let me stop avoiding my work/ study at all costs, and continue along my internet working way...

Anton said...

By "Dennis" I mean alternate pseudonym...

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