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Number 5 Maria McGranaghan
While vacationing with her family on the Greek island of Corfu, 13-year-old Maria McGranaghan decided to sleep outside to cope with the intense heat. A few days after she’d returned, McGranaghan complained about feeling sick, dizzy and cold.
What Is It?
Mosquitoes are small winged insects belonging to Diptera, the order of flies. They have a single pair of wings, a slender segmented body and three pairs of very thin legs. The infamous buzzing sound that mosquitoes make is produced by the rapid movement of their wings, which can flap over 600 times per second. For most species, adult females have a tube-like mouthpart, called a proboscis. An itchy rash will typically form and it’s caused by a reaction to the mosquito’s saliva.
Number 4 Tawheeda Jan
In 2018, at the time that media attention was brought to her case, Tawheeda Jan, still in her early 20s, had never worn shoes. Jan’s feet were already swollen as a baby and they only kept on growing. At 11 inches long and 7 inches wide her feet were roughly the size of footballs. Even as heavy snow fell on her remote village in the Kashmir region, Jan still had to walk barefoot. She told a media outlet that her one dream was to one day wear shoes like her friends.
Where Is It Located?
Mosquitoes enjoy a world-wide distribution, with the exception of Antarctica and a number of islands with polar or subpolar climates, such as Iceland. In arctic or subarctic regions, such as Alaska or Canada, mosquitoes may only be active for a few weeks. However, it’s within that time that they form swarms that have become the bane of people, caribou, reindeer and other mammals living in the frozen north. Climate change has reportedly exacerbated the Arctic swarm issue in recent years.
Number 3 Triple E in the US
In September 2019, a Triple E outbreak was reported in the United States, particularly in Michigan and New England. The virus has also been found in goats and horses. It’s caused by the Togavirus, which is vectored through mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes don’t typically exhibit symptoms as they transmit these organisms from person to person. One example is the Plasmodium parasites carried by female mosquitoes in the Anopheles genus.
Number 2 Lauren Zehner
In the spring of 2019, 6-year-old Lauren Zehner was bit by a mosquito and soon started to develop a fever. The child was diagnosed with a typical UTI and sent home. She was confused and didn’t know who her parents were. The child asked for water but threw the glass away when it was brought to her.
Each disease contracted through a mosquito bite requires a specific form of treatment. On a larger scale, scientists are looking at various ways of controlling the mosquito population. However, when it comes to the future of mosquito containment or eradication, the most promising research involves genetic engineering.
Number 1 Sophie Williams
In 2015, British university lecturer Sophie Williams and some students went on a trip to China, in order to research the orchid trade. The woman had just gotten her dream job as a permanent staff member at Bangor University, one of the top academic institutions in her native Wales. She was eventually flown back to Wales, where she’d spend months in an old people’s home, needing round-the-clock care.