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Are You A Mosquito Target?

Posted in Travel Health 01 Sep, 2015

Is there anyone on the planet who likes mosquitoes? Perhaps the shareholders of Deet products do, but I doubt anyone appreciates or values a mosquito if there is no monetary gain to be had. I certainly don't.

There is a theory that mosquitoes are attracted to particular blood types. If this is the case then some of us are doomed, but others can relax a bit. You want to know what type? It's type O.

Why Type O?

Experts still don't know why it's type O blood that mozzies have a preference for. Some suggest that they don't actually prefer type O at all, but that type Os have a greater sensitivity to their bites.

Type A (that's me, and I've only ever had a few bites) may not even notice they've been had. No sense no feeling I guess. When sensitive-skinned folk, potentially the type O's, get bitten they may have a hive-type reaction and bigger inflammatory response.

Any Other Reasons?

Well yes, mozzies have been around for millions of years, we've all seen Jurassic Park, so if they only lunched on type Os they would have died out before they even got started.

Cholesterol

People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin attract mozzies in their droves. You might think it's another great reason to get healthy - BUT it's possible that those better at processing and getting rid of cholesterol are the ones with most of the by-product on their skin.

Carbon Dioxide

It's thought mosquitoes can smell your carbon dioxide 50 metres off - that's just like getting a whiff of a kebab van as you exit the pub on a Friday night. This might also explain why mozzies prefer adults to kids - they simply emit more smells. Body heat and movement attracts them too, so exercising is a sure fire way to pull a mosquito.

Is It A Problem?

I'm afraid so, because not only are mosquito bites itchy and thoroughly annoying, they can turn into some worse.

Illnesses are transmitted through mosquito bites, such as the West Nile virus that killed 44 Americans at home in 2008. In 2010, cases of dengue fever were found in the States and of course there's malaria, which we don't really take seriously here. It's transmitted by mosquitoes and kills a million people every year worldwide. OK, you're not likely to die of malaria if you remain in the UK, but if you spend time abroad, you will need to take precautions.

Take mosquito protection seriously. One of the best things you can do is get rid of any standing water in your garden because mosquito larvae live in the water. At the very least you should regularly clean out the birdbath. You can see them wiggling around in there if you look. Before long they'll be hatching and looking for a carbon dioxide exhaling, exercising, blood-type O victim to munch on.

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