University of Virginia Historical Collections at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

Screening for Health: Mosquito Nets

Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes and Flies

Millions of people around the world die each year of diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and flies, and many millions more are chronically ill.  Even a short list of these diseases is chilling:

Mosquitoes

Flies

Malaria, for example, is a major killer in all tropical areas.  Despite a global campaign to eradicate the disease, each year there are millions of cases of malaria with hundreds of thousands of deaths. The World Health Organization released figures in 2014 that estimated nearly 200 million cases of malaria in 2013 and almost 600 thousand deaths. Mosquito nets are a major protection against malaria, and the World Health Organization formally recommends that all people in malarial areas use nets when sleeping. Nets are vital protections wherever insect-borne diseases are endemic.  Modern nets are made of plastic filaments and many are impregnated with an insecticide, so that the net gives both active and passive protection.  Other types of nets are both protective and portable, such as food covers and hats with veils.

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