Mosquito

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Reaktion Books, Feb 15, 2013 - Nature - 216 pages
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Bug zappers were invented for one purpose: to kill mosquitoes, the bane of many summer evenings, camping trips, and exotic vacations. These blood-sucking insects do more than leave us with itchy bites, though. The diseases they carry and inject, such as yellow fever, dengue fever, and the West Nile virus, make them responsible for more human deaths than any other animal. The most deadly of these, malaria, has been mostly eradicated from the northern hemisphere, but it continues to pose a mortal threat in developing countries. It kills nearly 700,000 of the 350 million that succumb to the infection each year, and the majority of the deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Drawing on scientific fact, historical evidence, and literary evocation, Mosquito provides a colorful portrait of this tiny insect and the notorious diseases it carries. Richard Jones explores the mosquito’s sinister reputation, tracing its transformation from trivial gnat into a serious disease-carrying menace. While Jones recounts the history of mosquitoes’ relationship with humans, he also offers a persuasive warning against the contemporary complacency surrounding malaria and other diseases in Western society. Mosquito is a compelling look at tropical medicine, diseases, and their connection to one of our smallest adversaries.
 

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Contents

Introduction
7
1 Will it Bite?
11
2 Why Drink Blood?
29
3 Pest Proportions
43
4 Mosquito Places
57
5 The Parasite Within
73
6 The March of Progress
104
7 The Theatre of War
128
10 Mosquito Redux
174
11 The Mosquito Legacy
184
Timeline of the Mosquito
190
References
192
Select Bibliography
202
Associations and Websites
206
Acknowledgements
208
Photo Acknowledgements
209

8 Environmental Chaos
155
9 The Mosquito Brand
163

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About the author (2013)

Richard Jones is a fellow of the Royal Entomological Society of London and the Linnean Society of London and former president of the British Entomological and Natural History Society. His books include Nano Nature and Extreme Insects.

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