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A source of pain throughout the ages – Mosquito Dengue

Once a newly married professor clarified the difference between the words ‘complete’ and ‘finish’. His hypothesis was put in a conference almost in this way – when you marry the right woman, you are complete, but unfortunately, if you marry the wrong woman, you are finished. This becomes more dangerous when you are caught with the wrong one by the right one and it is called ‘completely finished’.

Although it appears like a fun, let me relate this to a problem that has been a vital issue recently in Bangladesh. For the last few days, almost the whole country, especially Dhaka, is suffering from dengue fever which is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. It has been an alarming threat to everyone as this is causing thousands of people in trouble every day and many have succumbed to death already.

According to a research made by the American Mosquito Control Association, only female mosquitoes bite. Fruits and plants are enough for all types of mosquitoes except the female one, as they additionally need the protein in blood to help her eggs mature. Mosquitoes don’t have teeth. The females “bite” with a long, pointed mouthpart called a proboscis. While I was writing this, my wife was glaring at me and I felt I was going to hit a feminist agenda.

Additionally, another interesting thing is that the noise we hear produced by mosquitoes is made by its wings. It can move its wings 300-600 times in a second. What a creature! As a mosquito flaps its wings very quickly, we hear it as a buzzing or whining sound. I did not compare this with the situation when my wife is angry, even she was looking at me ferociously.

This research has been an inspiration for me to study more about mosquitoes, especially as found in the literature. The writer and litterateur Syed Abul Maksud thinks that human being has a very good connection to mosquitoes, which is mainly for physical needs, specifically, it is all about blood. So, this type of enemy can be hated; not ignored.

The word ‘Mosquito’ is Spanish which means “little fly.” The word reportedly originated in the early 16th century. In Africa, New Zealand and Australia, mosquitoes are often called “Mozzies”. However, the origin is not important, rather its power is an issue to call it powerful. Namrud, along with his kingdom, military power, and economic growth was destroyed by a simple mosquito. I am sorry! Looking at its power, it shouldn’t be called simple anymore as the Muslim Almighty Allah Himself mentioned about it very seriously.

1400 years ago the Quran said that mosquitoes had their own parasites: Allah does not shy away from making an example of a mosquito and what is above it. As for those who believe, they know that it is the Truth from their Lord. But as for those who disbelieve, they say, “What did Allah intend by this example?” He leads astray many thereby, and He guides many thereby, but He misleads thereby only the evildoers (Quran 2.26).

When Alexander the Great was stuck by mosquitoes in the Indian subcontinent, a lot of his soldiers had to sacrifice themselves to this insect. Even, few English civil sergeants wrote about their painful experiences in their biography. So, it will not be so wrong if I state that the first agony to the British was caused by the South Asian mosquitoes. Mosquitoes had their contribution in 1971 as well. Tikka Khan and his culprits were scared of two things mainly: freedom-fighter and mosquitoes.

It is surprising to know that the Rabindranath Tagore was also worried about this irritating creature. Reading his biographical notes, it is found that he was also worried about two things: critics and mosquitoes. How interesting! He mentioned that he was disturbed by critics in Kolkata and was troubled by mosquitoes in Bolpur. Another proof has been found by the contemporary writer Khushwant Singh that once he saw Tagore walking and writing inside a big room-sized mosquito net in Shantiniketan.

Another great litterateur Kazi Nazrul Islam ignored this mosquito issue as he believed that the British took much blood than mosquitoes took and the British were a more dangerous threat than mosquitoes are. Bangladesh’s national poet didn’t worry about this ‘simple’ creature, but when he was bitten by a mosquito in between 1926-1927, he had to suffer from dangerous malaria. I do not know what happened next, but I found an article where this question was raised with its possibility.

However, the average female mosquito lifespan is less than two months, but the problem they create is long-lasting, especially when someone dies caused by them. Till now, according to a report by Directorate General of Health Services, 41,178 dengue patients were hospitalised this year, including 22,717 in the 11 days of August alone, and 40 died recently as the Health Minister said, but in the media, the amount is all around 100 till this week.

So, if we do not want to be ‘completely finished’ like that professor’s joke, we have to be careful and save ourselves from this epidemic, we must need to think seriously. The government is asking for help to recover from Aedes. The only way to solve this problem is to make awareness among us and to keep our surroundings neat and clean.

Hasan Al-Mahmud

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