Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bill Gates writes - Malaria eraser (as seen in Huffington Post)

I grew up in the New York City area where the history of mosquito control has been an on-going "war" which the Chinese may win, they have invested much in it's demise (malaria), thereby winning and influencing friends and enemies, perhaps. In NYC we had the unfortunate propagation of the West Nile virus (not to be confused with the protozoa) perhaps from the old Flushing Airport in 1999, after the tidal gates were left damaged. As a resident of the Bronx and encountering a number of dead birds around the Bronx Zoo, some specifically in "Old Soldiers Cemetery" a block from the zoo, employed in the archaeological monitoring of a new partial fence, I thought it had maybe come from there. However, most of the human cases came from Queens, NY near the former airport.

My father anecdotally related dusting with DDT the children in Italy for body lice in WWII and thought the controversy much ado about nothing until research revealed in the New York area (first by a woman scientist on Great Gull Island off of Orient Point and Plum Island, i.e. where animal disease is quarantined and studied, in the middle of 40 million people) off of Long Island, NY that it was thinning the shells of various birds, especially the beloved osprey (or sea eagle, which bald eagles sometimes steal food from along the Hudson River) whose flyway (as was Flushing Airport's once) includes the shores of Brazil.

Suffolk County mosquito control has dug hundreds of "canals" in tidal wetlands. Water flows so that mosquito larvae drown presumably or are never there. NYC has had the same treatment. Sickle cell anemia, a heritable consequence of repeated exposures to malaria, red blood cells try to adapt, is a painful genetic consequence I've read. Wiping it out would be a benefit to look forward to, like the Hogfarm bus at Woodstock '69, which was present at the last case thought of smallpox in the world, in India.

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