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Aniquilar os mosquitos assassinos

SINGAPURA —Os mosquitos podem ser pequenos, mas a sua picada é potente. Propagam várias doençascomo a chikungunya, a dengue, a malária, a febre amarela, a febre do Vale do Nilo e o vírus Zika —que, no conjunto, matam milhões de pessoas por ano. A malária, por si só, é uma das principais causas de morte por infecções do mundo (seguindo-se apenas à tuberculose e à SIDA), sendo responsável por 429 000 mortes em 2015. Tendo em conta a escala e a abrangência do problema, a aplicação de medidas mais enérgicas para eliminar os mosquitos —e as doenças de que são portadores —é um imperativo do desenvolvimento.

A Organização Mundial de Saúde classifica os mosquitos entre as principais ameaças à saúde pública, especialmente nos países em desenvolvimento. Conforme destacou um gráfico no blogue de Bill Gates no ano passado, os mosquitos são responsáveis por 830 000 mortes humanas por ano — 250 000 mais do que as mortes causadas pelo homem.

Para além dos avultados custos humanos, as doenças transmitidas por mosquitos acarretam custos económicos substanciais. Para uma pessoa infectada, tais custos incluem o tratamento e as despesas hospitalares, o transporte de e para um posto de saúde ou hospital, o tempo despendido fora do trabalho e os pulverizadores insecticidas ou os mosquiteiros para protecção contra outras picadas de mosquitos propagadores de doenças.

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