Malaria remains a major global health threat, with over 240 million cases and over 400,000 deaths reported in 2020. Mosquitoes, and specifically the female Anopheles mosquito, are the primary vectors for the transmission of malaria, spreading the disease through their blood meals. To combat this, researchers are exploring new ways to control the populations of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, including the use of artificial light.
Malaria is both preventable and curable, yet it has killed more people than any other pandemic. It is a life-threating disease found in tropical and subtropical areas in Africa, South America, and Asia. The plasmodium parasite causes this mosquito-borne blood disease.
The female Anopheles mosquito spreads malaria through blood meals. Once the parasite enters the body, they multiply in the liver. Malaria attacks the red blood cells, which rupture. There are five malarial parasitic species that cause malaria. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax cause the greatest harm.
We experience flu-like symptoms when we have malaria. These include shaking chills, aching muscles, fatigue, and headaches. Malaria-carrying mosquito bites are common in places where medical care may be hard to access. As a result, malaria causes one of the largest disease burdens to society.
LED lights, in particular, have shown promise as a potential mosquito control strategy. These lights emit quick pulses of specific wavelengths and flicker frequencies that are effective at deterring and disorienting mosquitoes. In a study conducted in South Africa, the use of LED lights resulted in a significant reduction in mosquito bites and malaria infection rates.
However, it’s important to note that the use of artificial light as a mosquito control method is still in the early stages of research and development. More studies are needed to fully understand the potential negative impacts and determine the most effective ways to use these lights to keep people safe from vector-borne diseases like malaria.
Certain species of mosquitoes, including the Anopheles mosquito, are nocturnal feeders, meaning they are most active at night and are attracted to light sources. This behavior is thought to be linked to their natural reproductive cycle, as female mosquitoes require a blood meal in order to produce eggs.
The use of artificial light, particularly domestic lights, can disrupt the natural sleep-awake cycles of mosquitoes and alter their behavior. This can have negative impacts on the transmission of vector-borne diseases like malaria, as it may affect the ability of mosquitoes to locate and feed on hosts.
The use of LED lights, which emit a specific spectrum of light at specific wavelengths and intensities, may offer a potential solution to this problem. By using lights that are less attractive to mosquitoes and that disrupt their ability to navigate, it may be possible to reduce their biting rates and the transmission of disease.
Vector control, which includes the use of insecticides, bed nets, and other methods to reduce the populations of disease-carrying mosquitoes, is a critical component of malaria prevention and control efforts. Artificial light, specifically LED lights, may offer an additional tool in the fight against malaria and other vector-borne diseases.
However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential of artificial light as a vector control option and to determine the correct kinds and intensities of light to use. In addition, it’s important to consider the potential negative impacts of artificial light on the environment and human health, as well as the potential for the development of antimalarial drug resistance.
The use of artificial light as a tool to fight malaria and other vector-borne diseases shows promise as a potential strategy. Maybe, once more research has been done to fully understand its effectiveness and determine the best ways to use it safely and effectively on a large scale, we can finally start to say goodbye to a disease that has killed the most people in history.
In the meantime, taking other precautions is vital, especially if you are in a high-risk area. Our skin patches play an important role in a full regime of protection. They are wholly vitamin-based with no chemicals. Mosquito repellents alone are not a safe option. It’s best to diversify your protection by including antimalarial drugs, mosquito nets, fans and light clothing, Mozzie Patches, and other repellent measures.
You can buy our mosquito repelling patches today and enjoy the easy, care-free and healthy protection they offer!