To learn more about mosquitoes and the West Nile Virus, go to www.bam.gov/survival/westnile.htm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and whyfiles.org/016skeeter/ (The Why Files, University of Wisconsin).
Information about mosquito repellents can be found at faculty.washington.edu/chudler/deeta.html (Neuroscience for Kids).
Teachers and Parents:
A fourth-grade curriculum guide on mosquito biology is available at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/arbor/neato.htm (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Books recommended by SearchIt!Science:
Malaria, West Nile, and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases — Nancy Day
Published by Enslow Publishers, 2001.
In the summer of 1999, three patients at a New York City hospital shared unusual symptoms. They were feverish, confused, and too weak to move. Nearby, a specialist at the Bronx Zoo noticed crows dying at an alarming rate. Finally, scientists figured out what was going on. West Nile, a rare mosquito-borne virus had struck New York City. This book discusses the West Nile virus, malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever. Also, it mentions the anatomy and life of mosquitoes, and gives a comprehensive look at prevention methods, including the environmental problems with many prevention methods. A final chapter discusses the future of mosquito-borne illnesses and mentions the effects of global warming on disease and the prospects of genetically engineered mosquitoes.
Bites and Stings — Alvin Silverstein, Virginia Silverstein, Laura Silverstein Nunn
Published by Franklin Watts/Scholastic, 2001.
Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito or stung by a bee? How about a spider or a scorpion? This book discusses bug bites, wild animal bites, and pet bites. It explains how your body reacts when you have a bite or a sting and what happens when bites or stings get infected. Finally, it describes how to treat bites and stings, and gives advice on how to protect yourself from these annoying (and sometimes dangerous) animal bites and stings.
encephalitis Inflammation of the brain, usually caused by infection with a virus.
malaria A disease that is caused by a parasite that enters the body through the bite of a mosquito. A person with malaria has attacks of chills, fever, and sweating that happen over and over again. Malaria is often seen in tropical climates.
mosquito A type of winged insect that is related to the fly. Female mosquitoes suck blood for food and may carry diseases, such as malaria.
Mosquito bites itch because we’re allergic to chemical compounds in the mosquitoes’ saliva. Some of those chemicals are proteins that keep blood from forming clots, so that the mosquito can feed more easily. A few people, though, have little or no allergic reaction to mosquito saliva, meaning they can get bitten without itching afterwards.
yellow fever A serious disease in which a person has fever and the skin and eyes turn yellowish in color. Yellow fever is caused by a virus and is carried by mosquitoes. Yellow fever is most often seen in tropical climates.
Copyright © 2002, 2003 Houghton-Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.