Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Having "Friends" is a very important part of life (as well as the name of a popular TV show). My trip to Costa Rica confirmed that I have many. As I have discovered on previous trips, wherever I go there are millions of insects that are happy to see me. My doctor says it is not just because they like "foreign food". I am among many humans who issue pheremones that attract insects. Some just come by to say "Hello!". But others insist on an intimate, blood relationship.

My doctor also has said that there is hope for people like me beyond slathering on buckets of Deet. Extensive research is now being done regarding people who attract insects, namely mosquitos. Researchers feel if they can prevent bites in this group they can protect virtually everyone from the bites that transmit malaria. 3 million people in the world die each year from malaria according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

There are nine different species of mosquitos in the State of Wisconsin, and I'm sure I've been bitten by all nine. I have no idea how many additional mosquito species I've established an intimate relationship with in other areas of this country as well as in other countries. So, as I pop another chloroquine pill that I have to take for 8 weeks after my return to stave off a case of malaria, I offer all encouragement possible to those researchers working on the man/mosquito relationship.

The 1920's newspaper columnist, Don Marquis, was told by his friend, Archie the cockroach, "Man may regard himself as something special .... but to a mosquito....he's just something to eat!"



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