Monday, February 15, 2010

Mosquito Game :: Be A Vector And Bite The Humans!

Become Speedy Ann, an Anapheles mosquito whose flight you control past obstacles, hungry birds, and insecticides so you can bite humans, give them Malaria, and use their blood to produce new eggs.

The first time I played the Mosquito Game I had a hard time figuring out the controls and immediately got eaten by a bird. Starting again, I found a human, hovered over him (a blue or orange dot) and started trying to settle down to take my blood meal (have to press and hold the space bar to "eat") when he noticed me and smashed me dead. The game had me laughing. Try and get the High Score by being the fastest mosquito to drink enough blood to produce eggs!

Play the game at Mosquito Game

Fast Facts:
  • Malaria is caused by a parasite, Plasmodium species.
  • Usually, people get malaria by being bitten by an infective female Anapheles mosquito. Only Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria and they must have been infected through a previous blood meal taken on an infected person.
  • Once a mosquito ingests malaria parasites from an infected human, the parasites must undergo development within the mosquito for about 10-21 days before they are infectious to humans.
  • The mosquito Anapheles gambei is the main vector of malaria.
  • Each year 350-500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide, and over one million people die, most of them young children in Africa south of the Sahara.
  • From the CDC website:
"Some Anopheles species are poor vectors of malaria, as the parasites do not develop well (or at all) within them. It is hoped that some day, genetically modified mosquitoes that are refractory to malaria can replace wild mosquitoes, thereby limiting or eliminating malaria transmission."

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