Disease Alert New study shows mosquitoes carry new, dangerous mystery disease

According to the research, said mystery disease causes symptoms similar to many bacterial infections, and was often found in cases where doctors registered an illness as “fever of unknown origin”.

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If indications are anything to go by, then malaria will not be the only reason to dread mosquitoes as scientists have discovered that the insects are potential carriers of a mysterious and “poorly understood” new disease.

According to the research, said mystery disease causes symptoms similar to many bacterial infections, and was often found in cases where doctors registered an illness as “fever of unknown origin”.

This was particularly the case in malaria-endemic areas, and in a study, mosquitoes were fed on the bacteria, Rickettsia felis-infected mice after which it was found that the insects were able to transmit the disease.

The new research by Professor Parola et al builds on Rickettsia felis, which was first described by experts in 1990 and identified in 2008 as an “emergent global threat for humans”.

The study appeared in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Parola, said that so little is known about infections of Rickettsia felis in part because it can only be identified by a laboratory diagnosis.

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