Interview with Aedes Aegypti Mosquito: Mother of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika

This week, fuzzlabs have got itself an interview with one of the most dreaded creatures on this planet. A type of mosquito, Aedes Aegypti is perhaps most feared species of them all. She is known to be major cause of viral outbreaks around the world. Mother of famous viruses like Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever, Aedes is now causing a ruckus among humans after introducing a new virus in the bloc named Zika.

Aed

Fz: Hello Aedes.
Aedes: Hello Human.

Fz: How have you been?
Aedes: Pretty. We have successfully infiltrated almost all part of the world. The entire South American, African and Asian countries are our stronghold. We have made in roads in most of European countries and of course US. We have been making progress in Australia too. We thrive in damp and tropical climates, you see. So its not been easy in Europe and all. But still, we are able to infect around fifty to hundred million humans with terrible diseases annually. So, its been good. Especially, India… Oh! we love this place.

Fz: Really? gee thanks.
Aedes: Yeah, I know. I mean so much filth its almost like heaven. You guys understand our need for unclean environment. Look at the way you handle your wastes, its so awesome. You have perfect hot and humid climate. So much population that every main city has high density of people cramped together. On top of that you guys absolutely give no two hoots about cleanliness. Its every mosquito’s wet dream. The country is a dumpster in itself. And that’s the highest compliment I can come up with.

Fz: Oh.. Oh.. I.. we thought.. never mind. OK, Tell us… How do you all spread diseases? sucking blood and all.
Aedes: No. Not all of us suck blood. Our males are humble and simple beings. They live on fruits. Its us girls who go around sucking human blood.

Fz: No surprises there.
Aedes: Wut?

Fz: Nothing. Go on.
Aedes: Ok. Our mouth parts are modified for blood feeding. We need blood to mature our eggs you see. Also, we are day biting mosquitoes. So, you only need to fear us during days *laughs*.

Fz: *nervous laughter* Interesting. Tell us about your modus operandi? How you plan your attacks?
Aedes: Feeding on humans generally occurs at one to two hour intervals. We attack generally from below or behind, usually from underneath desks or chairs and mainly at the feet and ankles. Its fun how you then go around beating yourself trying to kill us. Earlier, you guys used to spot us with our humming. But now we have adapted too. We don’t hum anymore. We are silent and fast making us very potent.  And that’s how we spread diseases too. Viruses, if we are carrying them is injected through the bite wound and before you know it you are infected.
Anyway.. we are adapted to breed around human dwellings and prefer to lay eggs in clean water which contains no other living species. These eggs become adult in about one-and-a-half to two weeks. So you see, we breed very effectively too.

Fz: You have been accused of many epidemics around the world. What is your stand on that?
Aedes: Oh! We like spreading epidemics. It gives our species a sense of being alive. We started out with Yellow Fever when we were a small community in Africa. Then, we expanded our base to include Dengue, Chikungunya and more recently Zika. We are largest transmitters of vector borne diseases around the world.

Fz: Oh! you have widespread network.
Aedes: Yes, we started out as a small community of yellow fever spreading mosquitoes in Africa. The with colonization and all we got free ticket to invade American continents. Asia and other parts of the world were not far behind. Yellow fever wasn’t that effective as time progressed. So, we picked up Dengue and Chikungunya after that. Dengue has been most successful of our viruses until now. We have released four version of Dengue viruses successfully among you humans. They did keep you humans feared for a time being. And, now we are out with Zika. That’s our policy, we always keep innovating with new viruses if we are to keep control of this planet.

Fz: You are in control of this planet? You know I can swat you with my left hand, right?
Aedes: Ah! So cute, aren’t you? You mighty humans with all your prowess think you are in charge? You sure do can swat me. Quick and painless. One will die but thousands will still be out there. And a bite of ours… that’s not going to be quick and painless.  Will start with fever, nausea, joint pains, muscle pains, rashes, headaches. You will start feeling dizzy, vomit often, won’t be able to eat, sleep or do anything properly. If you remain untreated, you will have internal bleeding, increased fever, small blisters under the skin, bleeding from nose. Followed by permanent damage to kidney and liver.  Oh! it will be painful. slow… and pai..nf..ull.
Now, with Zika we have revamped this condition called microcephaly. The new born human kids will have abnormally small head and brain which haven’t been developed fully. Beta tests have been success. We are planning for a full scale outbreak in coming months.

Fz: Ok. That escalated quickly. We.. we can control the spread of your diseases.
Aedes: Look around you human. Untreated sewage, smelly naalas right outside rich neighborhoods, Every available nook and corner is a perfect place for our eggs to flourish. Thousands of us inhabit your house as we speak; Plastic cups, old tires, broken bottles, flower pots, gutters. To eradicate the disease we spread you need to minimize human-mosquito contact. How do you plan to do that?

Fz: We have vaccines. We have insecticides.
Aedes: No you don’t. There has not been a vaccine for any of the diseases we spread. I appreciate your persistence in trying though. It can be attributed to our innovative ideas. Dengue is actually caused by 4 related but entirely individual viruses (dengue 1 – 4), which differ in their antigenicity, meaning that any vaccine you develop must protect against not 1 virus, but 4. No breakthroughs yet. I’ll want to see how you counter Zika.
And oh yes. Your insecticides… That did affect us initially. But you guys should know that we do develop a kind of resistance to it with time. In long run, it only makes us stronger.

Fz: We will totally eliminate you from the planet. Missions are underway. We are planning to leave genetically modified male mosquitoes into your habitat which will mate with you girls and render the next generation of females flightless. Males won’t be affected though and they will go around doing same. In few years you disease spreading females will be totally controlled.
Aedes: Wait… we don’t need to get carried away do we? I mean.. thats drastic.

Fz: So, who is having the last laugh, b****?
Aedes: The human stupidity never ceases to amaze me. I bet you have not studied the knock on effect of such measures on the food chain. Eradication of our species might result in nastier pests. There will be unforeseen repercussions.

Fz: Ha ha! Nice try.
Aedes: O! naive humans… you believe we are the predators, don’t you?. It’s you. The nature is not yours you stupid human. With your population on this planet ticking past 7 billion. Its you who needs to be controlled. The nature needs protection from you and we will continue to do it by culling your population slowly.

Fz: …
Aedes: I will get you one day. Good bye friend.

Fz: I am not your friend, buddy.
Aedes: I am not your buddy, dude.

Fz: I am not your dude, you pest.
Aedes: … *flies away*

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