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Gambusia Fish: A Mosquito-Control Warrior

Context:

Recently, various government and non-governmental organisations in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Punjab have released Gambusia fish into local water bodies to address a mosquito menace.

Relevance:

Facts for Prelims

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Gambusia Fish: A Mosquito-Control Warrior
  2. About Malaria

Gambusia Fish: A Mosquito-Control Warrior

  • Introduction: Gambusia fish, commonly known as mosquitofish, is recognized for its role in biological mosquito control.
  • Native Habitat: Native to the waters of the south-eastern United States.
  • Mosquito Control: Employed as a biological agent to control mosquito larvae, playing a crucial role in mosquito-control strategies globally.
  • Feeding Behavior: A single full-grown fish is known to consume about 100 to 300 mosquito larvae per day.
  • Historical Usage in India: Integrated into malaria control strategies in India since 1928, notably in the Urban Malaria Scheme.
  • Conservation Status: Listed as one of the 100 worst invasive alien species globally by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • Significance: Remains an integral part of efforts to combat mosquito-borne diseases and plays a vital role in enhancing public health.

About Malaria

  • The Malaria is a leading cause of human morbidity and mortality.
  • Despite huge progress in tackling the disease, there are still 212 million new cases of malaria and 430,000 malaria-related deaths worldwide each year according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • The Malaria is caused by the Plasmodium parasite.
  • The parasite can be spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • There are many different types of plasmodium parasite, but only 5 types cause malaria in humans.
  • The Children under the age of 5 and pregnant women are most susceptible to the disease.
  • The severity of malaria varies based on the species of plasmodium.
  • The Symptoms are chills, fever and sweating, usually occurring a few weeks after being bitten.

-Source: The Hindu


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