We've previously had a few mentions of the alarming spread of some very unpleasant viral diseases, thanks to the increasing range of mosquitoes that carry these illnesses, with climate change often blamed. Cameron Webb, Clinical Lecturer and Principal Hospital Scientist at University of Sydney, Australia, explains the various factors that can be responsible for the spread of mosquito borne diseases such as Ross River, dengue, chikungunya, West Nile, Japanese encephalitis viruses and malaria. The article Includes a reference to a recent article in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, which reviews the factors contributing to future increases in mosquito-borne disease risk in the United Kingdom.
While the risk of additional illnesses from mosquitoes may be small, we can't be complacent about the risk. As the article points out "Until recently, chikungunya virus was unknown from the Americas but within a year of it being introduced into the Caribbean, it had spread to both North America and South America and is suspected to have infected over 1.2 million people.' So if you are travelling, make certain that you know whether you need to take precautions against yet another infection risk.
Photo: The warmer months have seen the appearance of these jewel spiders on webs between bushes in the scrub. It can make walking through the scrub rather challenging if I wish to avoid walking through their webs. Unfortunately they tend to form colonies, so there's a high likelihood I'll collect a few on my clothes if I'm distracted by looking for photo opportunities. Supposedly they can't bite through skin, and hopefully they keep the mosquitoes as well as the flies down.