Scratch This, Mofo!

Aedes Aegypti - Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
Picture sourced from Google Images (search query: aedes aegypti).

No religion has been able to teach a man on how to avoid the most difficult of all temptations – scratching a mosquito bite.

*scratch*

If my fingernails were as sharp as shark teeth, I’d have no skin left, I assure you.

*scratch* *scratch*

Every time I get bitten by a mosquito, I can’t help thinking how fine a line I’m walking between life and death – all it takes is for the wrong kind of mosquito carrying the right kind of virus, and I’d be fighting to survive in a hospital ward somewhere (assuming the doctors don’t kick me out for not being seriously ill – yet)
[David‘s mom was recently warded for dengue fever. She’s OK now. Read David’s post on what he has learned about dengue fever. ]

*scratch* *scratch* *scratch*

You want to talk about WMD? Those damned mosquitoes (Aedes Aegypti, and it’s malaria-carrying cursed cousin Anopheles) have more claim to that term than any non-existent nuke in Iraq.

*scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch*

If we could only extract that funky concoction of chemicals within the mosquito that makes us unable to resist the urge to scratch, we could manufacture them into tiny little pellets that can be shot or sprayed on out-of-control rioters, forcing them all to drop their banners and stones and projectiles so they can scratch themselves silly while the police swoop in and arrest them.

Well, it beats getting sprayed by water cannons… or maybe not.

*scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch*

You know, the flight range of an aedes aegypti can be up to 400m (or 600m depending on the source of reference). They can travel even farther if they end up ‘hitching a ride’ – like being trapped in a car, train, etc.

That’s scary, dudes. We could do all that is humanly possible to keep our houses and compounds free of mosquito larvae, but we can’t quite force our near or distant neighbours to do the same. I could end up infected with dengue fever just because some idiot 400m away couldn’t be arsed to check his pond for mosquito larvae.

*scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch*

It happens every year. There’s a sudden spike in dengue-related illnesses in some location, the state authorities promise to take immediate action, somebody dies, fogging takes place in those areas where mortalities have occurred, more people die, widespread fogging takes place, but still limited to areas at or around the areas with highest incidence of dengue fever, number of cases decrease, people forget, state authorities eventually stop fogging.

I’ve read a few articles and watched some TV documentaries about dengue fever, but I don’t remember ever hearing that aedes mosquitoes bite only at certain times of the year. As far as I know, they’re open for business all year round.

Even during the height of the dengue fever cases recently, there has not been a single fogging exercise to have taken place in my neighbourhood. Maybe because no one has yet to have contracted the disease over here. Are we supposed to wait until somebody does get dengue fever? Or until somebody dies? Prevention is better than the cure, Health Ministry dudes…

*scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch*

It’s like the haze thing, isn’t it? All that furore about forest fires, and all of a sudden, the noise has died out. Everybody forgets and moves on. Until next year, of course… and we repeat the whole process again.

And now we’re on the verge of a global bird flu pandemic. I wish I was clueless about this. I wish I never read the articles in journals, nor watched the news or the documentaries. Instead, here I am feeling paranoid about a possible event that could wipe out a large chunk of the world’s population.

And there’s nothing I can do about it. I can try to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but this isn’t AIDS or some other disease you can avoid if you’re careful and vigilant. Even the strongest and healthiest of people are vulnerable to the flu virus. Our only hopes rest with our government.

See why I am paranoid?

*scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch* *scratch*

I’m not sure if it’s a thousand mosquitoes getting a bite each, or a single mosquito getting a thousand bites, but I’ve had enough. I’m outta here.

Later, dudes.

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5 thoughts on “Scratch This, Mofo!”

  1. You know what, I lurve the squishy feeling of catching a mozzie between the palms of both hands. One also gets to look like some martial arts feller, when pulling off a wholes series of “thunderclap dragon slap” moves.

    By the way, cigarette smoke apparently acts like mosquito repellent, although some teachers will insist that’s only a lame excuse naughty boys use on school camping trips.

  2. Yep, just reading that mere word in between the asterisks is enough to make my skin get all tingly.

    Plus, the usage of aerosol cans contribute to the greenhouse effect. So either way we’re… doomed.

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