A brief lesson in vector-borne disease

See this guy?
IMG_1387

That’s a (smashed) Aedes aegypti mosquito. Notice the striped legs. That’s how you know.

This type of mosquito is the vector for Dengue Fever (among other things) which happens to be epidemic in El Salvador (among other places). They’re everywhere, it seems, so I have to spend a significant amount of time avoiding/fleeing/killing them. Luckily, it’s not currently Dengue season, but I think that only has to do with the number of mosquitos (wet season = more mosquitos) so I think I’m still justified in worrying.

The ironic part is that, while looking at some early data from my study, I realized that complications of dengue fever are by far the most common indication for using ultrasound at my host hospital. So really, it’s not just the health risks. I’m trying to avoid becoming one of the cases in my own study. Wish me luck.

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