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Where Will Malaria Strike Next?

It's bad enough worrying about West Nile Disease, but nowMalaria, another mosquito-borne disease, has already hitFlorida. Withglobal warming, will it arrive in the rest of the U.S. aswell?

"Temperature is only one of many, many factors in malaria,and in many cases it's totally irrelevant," saysentomologist Paul Reiter. "Many climate scientists don'tknow anything about the complexities of malaria?Morerainfall sometimes means more malaria, it sometimes meansless." Mosquitoes reproduce faster in hot, damp climates buthigher temperatures might trigger floods that wash away thepools of water in which malaria larva breed, or dry them up.He says that in 1999, when West Nile virus was first foundin New York, "it also broke out in Volgograd in Russia,formerly Stalingrad, which is not known for high temperatures."

Malaria kills an African child every 30 seconds. The diseasecould arrive in form of insects stowed away on airplanes. Insome countries, airplane cabins are sprayed with insecticidebefore passengers are allowed to leave the plane.Climatologist Alistair Woodward says, "In terms of malariaand many other (mosquito-borne) diseases?a changed climatewill stress health care systems in some parts of the world."

Reiter says malaria was defeated in most in developedcountries by draining marshes. Animals once lived in thesame buildings with people, but when farmers startedbuilding barns, this drew mosquitoes away from humans tofeed on cows and other livestock. When people started movingto cities, they developed window glass, which kept insects out.

There's no curse against mosquitoes, but there's everythingelse you need to know about casting spells in thismagicalbook.

Photo credits: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/

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