The body can be primed to fight mosquito-borne diseases
NORBERTO DUARTE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Humans can’t easily protect themselves from the most dangerous species on Earth. The predator slips invisibly into homes, quietly stalks its prey and bites before a victim knows what happened. There’s little chance of escape.
The attacker is Aedes aegypti, a mosquito that has, over time, developed a taste for people. It’s a city dweller that hovers in undisturbed crannies and can breed in a mere capful of water. Unlike some mosquitoes, which help themselves to a good meal and fly off satisfied, Ae. aegypti is a serial biter that can work through an entire family in minutes.
The lingering itch isn’t the problem; it’s the saliva transferred with each bite that could be loaded with thousands of virus particles, ready to multiply in the human body with little to stop it.