The death toll is mounting.

Insecticidal nets do not always work against diseases transmitted by insect bites

From news-medical.net January 5, 2011:

Longlasting insecticidal nets yielded an important breakthrough in malaria prevention, but this does not automatically mean they always work against diseases transmitted by insect bites. Against the transmission of kala azar disease in India and Nepal they did not have an effect. This was reported by an international group of researchers, led by Marleen Boelaert of the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, in the reputed British Medical Journal.

Kala-azar, or visceral leishmaniasis in doctor’s speak, affects half a million people annually. The Leshmania parasite, in fact a group of related parasites, is transmitted by sand flies. The parasite destroys your blood cells, leading to an enlarged spleen, inflammation and progressive wasting. If left untreated, the outcome is fatal.

Until now, in India and Nepal sand flies are controlled by indoor spraying of DDT or other insecticides; some families use classical mosquito nets, which are not treated with longlasting insecticides. Spraying happens local and irregular, which means at any moment sufficient sand flies and prey remain to continue the disease. As an alternative for DDT, a large scale campaign was proposed, providing everyone in a region with a mosquito net treated with insecticide that remains active for several years.

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Longlasting insecticidal nets yielded an important breakthrough in malaria prevention, but this does not automatically mean they always work against diseases transmitted by insect bites. Against the transmission of kala azar disease in India and Nepal they did not have an effect. This was reported by an international group of researchers, led by Marleen Boelaert of the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, in the reputed British Medical Journal.

Kala-azar, or visceral leishmaniasis in doctor’s speak, affects half a million people annually. The Leshmania parasite, in fact a group of related parasites, is transmitted by sand flies. The parasite destroys your blood cells, leading to an enlarged spleen, inflammation and progressive wasting. If left untreated, the outcome is fatal.

Until now, in India and Nepal sand flies are controlled by indoor spraying of DDT or other insecticides; some families use classical mosquito nets, which are not treated with longlasting insecticides. Spraying happens local and irregular, which means at any moment sufficient sand flies and prey remain to continue the disease. As an alternative for DDT, a large scale campaign was proposed, providing everyone in a region with a mosquito net treated with insecticide that remains active for several years.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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