Deforestation and Malaria
ISB 201L: Insects, Globalization, and Sustainability
September 25, 2012
This paper reviews the human activity of Globalization, specifically deforestation, and how it may be linked to the insect vectored disease of Malaria. Deforestation has led to large environment changes, and studies must be done to determine its effects on Malaria transmission. INTRODUCTION
Trees are necessary natural resources that provide essentials for human life. They give us paper to learn, respire oxygen that we breathe, and reduce carbon dioxide equaling a reduction in greenhouse gas. Forests are being clear-cut at an exponential rate, especially our rainforests, for the value in logging, mining, farming, and to build new communities and roads to “benefit” society. Deforestation is the removal of a forest to convert the land to a non-forest use, and has been influenced through ignorance of sustaining natural resources needed for an increasing population. McDonalds, the largest fast food chain in America, helps contribute to deforestation and it is doubtful that a drive thru customer considers external costs of their Big Mac. They use around 800 square miles of trees every year to produce the amount of paper and wrappers they need to keep their franchise running (Lindsey). Tropical and subtropical rainforests house 50-90% of all organisms, which help our environment to stay stabilized, are being cut and burned every day (Lindsey). Soil is damaged, and Indigenous communities are left stranded without homes (Lindsey) Deforestation can provide us with new food sources, as well as hunt down cures for certain diseases, but the negative effects drastically outweigh the positive (Lindsey).
Studies have shown that areas of clear-cut forests tend to also be linked to high Malaria transmission. The A. darlingi were mainly found in deforested areas, regardless of human presence (University of Wisconsin-madison). It occurs mostly in tropical areas of poverty (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), and is the leading vector born disease in the Peruvian Amazon (Olson and Others 2010). Malaria is an insect vectored disease caused by a parasite Plasmodium carried in mosquitos, specifically the Anopheles darlingi, which can pick up and transmit the disease through a human bite. Female A. darlingi cause infection by piercing your skin, which their saliva infects your liver and multiplies until red blood cells burst (Health Promotion and Education). The mosquito may have vectored the disease from an indigenous person who had been infected. It can take around one to three weeks before flu-like symptoms begin to show, such as a fever and the chills (Malaria). Death is very likely if the vectored disease is untreated, and can still be in your cards even if treatment is received. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there was an estimated 190-311 million cases of Malaria that were contracted worldwide in the year 2008 (2010). Of these millions, roughly 863,000 people died (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) from their infection. Most of these deaths were sadly children or pregnant women in countries such as Africa that have no doctors to provide medical assistance (Health Promotion and Education).
The length of a mosquito’s life depends on factors such as temperature, humidity, and time of year (Malaria). All mosquitoes need water in order to complete their life cycle and reproduce, whether it be sewage, a lake, or melted snow (McCafferty). Female mosquitoes need a blood meal prior to egg development, or else they may not survive to produce offspring (McCafferty). Mosquitoes have 4 life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Anopheles lay their eggs separately and they float on the water. (McCafferty). The eggs turn into larva, and go the waters surface to breathe. They molt about 4 times, growing larger and larger each time (McCafferty). Next...
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