Hamilton: Mosquitoes, humankind’s deadliest enemy
In Vietnam, we discovered a simple way to avoid Malaria and Dengue Fever. And the method will work for the deadly Zika Virus as well. Here’s what you need to know: Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with a virus or parasite. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the parasites or virus to other people through bites. Fortunately, the female Anopheles Gambiae mosquitoes that carry the Plasmodium Falciparum parasite and the female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that carry Dengue Fever and the Zika and Chikunqunya Viruses — hatch, fly around, and die within less than a mile of where they were hatched.
Ergo: If you can stay at least a mile away from people who have any of these dread diseases in their blood streams, it is unlikely that you will be bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito.
In Vietnam, close contact with the often Malaria-infected North Vietnamese soldiers could not be avoided. So, in addition to choosing night defensive positions at least a mile away from infected populations, we took the anti-malarial Primaquine-Chloraquine and Dapsone tablets. We rolled our sleeves down and buttoned our collars at sundown and, whenever possible, we slept under mosquito netting. Had we not taken all these laborious and time-consuming steps, Malaria and Dengue Fever would have killed or disabled far more of our troops than the NVA and the Viet Cong combined.
Unfortunately, the Obama Administration’s program of importing so-called “refugees” from the Middle East and Africa — with virtually no health screening and spotting them in locations all across the United States — increases the likelihood that many Americans will come within a mile of populations who are already infected with Malaria or Dengue Fever or the Zika Virus. So, if a mosquito bites one of these infected “refugees” and that mosquito bites you, chances are you will be infected as well.
Ironically, prior to the publication of Rachel Carson’s scientifically suspect Silent Spring in 1962, the use of DDT had almost eliminated the scourge of mosquito-borne diseases. But Carson claimed DDT softened bird shells. Her wildly popular book led to a Hobson’s choice between certain species of birds and human life. Since the banning of DDT in 1972, 60 million people — mostly children living in third-world countries — have died from Malaria. Go figure.
Whether by accident or design, this planting of possibly infected populations here and there across the United States could pose a greater threat to the security of America than al-Qaeda or ISIS. As the history of warfare attests, disease has killed more soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen that all of the bombs, bullets, artillery shells, rockets, and IEDs ever exploded.
Today, scientists are on the verge of “editing” the genes of mosquitoes so the females produce generations of sterile offspring, leading to the extermination of the entire mosquito species. The June, 2016, issue of The Smithsonian Magazine explains how “new technology gives us the power to wipe out mankind’s deadliest enemy.” Unfortunately, the same geniuses who banned DDT are opposing the elimination of the mosquito as a species of insect life. Others contend the elimination of the mosquito will result in a population explosion our agricultural resources cannot sustain. We report. You decide.
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the Army Language School, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.
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