© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
REVEALED: Why some people are attractive to mosquitoes and others are not
Ever wondered why two people could be in the same room and one complains of mosquito bites but the other does not? Well, a report by the US weekly news magazine, TIME, says some people attract mosquitoes more than others.
According to the report, factors such as blood group, pregnancy, sweat, and even alcohol, specifically beer, could invite more mosquitoes.
“Female mosquitoes (the kind that bite) have a thing for carbon dioxide,” the report explained, and according to research, “women in the later stages of pregnancy exhale 21 percent more CO2 (carbon dioxide) than their non-pregnant peers”.
“But CO2 may not be the only reason you’re suddenly more appealing: It could also be that pregnant women emit volatile odors that draw the insects,” Time quoted Laura Harrington, an Entomologist at Cornell University, as saying.
Also, research has found that “lactic acid, a byproduct of vigorous physical activity that’s excreted through sweat, is “indeed an attractant” for mosquitoes”. This, according to the report could be why mosquitoes are attracted more to sweaty people more than the less sweaty ones.
Blood type ‘O’, has also be found to be more appealing to mosquitoes. “Type O individuals may share a propensity for exuding certain odors that mosquitoes find attractive,” according to Joseph Conlon, an entomologist and technical advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association.
In recent times, excessive alcohol intake have been said to responsible for many ailments. Here is yet another. “A PLOS ONE study done in West Africa on men who drank either beer or water revealed that “beer consumption consistently increased volunteers’ attractiveness to mosquitoes,” the times reported.
Finally, mosquitoes find the genetic build up of some individuals not so attractive. According to scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, certain people produce natural mosquito repellents, a trait that appears to be genetically controlled.
Read the full report by Time Magazine here.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429 000 malaria deaths. 90 percent of the malaria cases was recorded in Sub-Saharan and the region also bears the burden of 92 percent of malaria deaths globally.
Similarly, a report published by Malaria Journal in 2016 states as follows: “Nigeria suffers the world’s greatest malaria burden, with approximately 51 million cases and 207,000 deaths reported annually (approximately 30 percent of the total malaria burden in Africa), while 97 percent of the total population (approximately 173 million) is at risk of infection.”
Mosquitoes are the single cause of Malaria.