Wednesday, 20 August 2014

MalariaNoMore UK: Mozzie Myths Campaign

As promised in July when I started this job, this is the full series of illustration for MalariaNoMore's social media campaign, along with their original text/brief. 

 Mozzy Myths” – For World Mosquito Day 20 August

World Mosquito Day (20th August) commemorates the historic discovery by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross in 1897 that female Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria between humans, laying the foundations for scientists across the world to better understand the deadly role of mosquitoes in disease transmission and come up with effective innovative interventions.


Myth #1 Garlic and marmite ward off mosquitoes
Whilst garlic is essential in a good spag bol, there is no scientific evidence it will keep mozzies at bay. Nor will your Marmite soldiers as brewers yeast or vitamin B tablets do not deter the determined mozzy. Instead use insect repellent, cover your arms and legs and sleep under a mosquito net to protect yourself.

Myth #2 Mosquitoes like sweet blood
Despite the romantic notion that the sweetness of our blood attracts a mozzy, it isn’t true. What a mozzy is really attracted to is a cocktail of odours produced by microbes on our skin - sweat is what can really win them over! So even if you don’t think you’re top of the list on a mosquito’s menu, take precautions to prevent bites.

Myth #3 Mozzies don’t have a wardrobe preference
Oh yes they do. Because they are attracted to heat and dark clothing retains more heat than light-coloured clothing, mosquitoes prefer black or dark blue!

Myth #4 Antiseptic mouthwash repels mosquitoes
Antiseptic mouthwash might give you fresh, minty breath but it won’t put off a mozzy, despite what the internet would have us believe. This antiseptic mouthwash doesn’t double as an effective bug repellent so don’t rely on it.

Myth #5 Mozzy’s bite
Mosquitoes don't have teeth so they don’t bite, they suck. They use the serrated proboscis to pierce the skin and locate a capillary, then draw blood through one of two tubes, drinking up three times its weight in blood. But not to worry, it would take about 1.2 million bites to drain all the blood from your body!

Myth #6 Mosquitoes die after feeding
Unfortunately, the female mosquito (males don't eat blood, they feed on nectar) can live to bite again and that’s how they transmit malaria. A female will typically bite on 4 separate occasions before she can pass malaria on to another person. So don’t assume once bitten you’re off the hook, and if you have to be bitten by a mosquito make sure it’s a young one!

Myth #7 Mosquitoes transmit the HIV virus
 Mosquitoes do not transmit the HIV virus from human to human. The virus that causes AIDS
is actually digested in their stomachs, so it's broken down without being passed on. But they
do carry malaria, the West Nile virus, dengue fever and other serious diseases...

Myth #8 Electrical bug zappers work on mozzies
Don’t waste your money as bug zappers are useless against mosquitoes. Studies have shown that less than 1 percent of the insects killed by zappers are mosquitoes or other biting insects, with no effect on the overall mosquito population (bug zappers have nothing to attract mosquitoes toward them).

#     What isn’t a myth is that last year 1,501 Brits got malaria, many cases were severe and the disease caused 7 deaths in the UK.

#     What isn’t a myth is that every minute a child dies as a result of malaria – a disease that is preventable and can be treated for less than the price of a cup of tea.

#     What isn’t a myth is that the loss of a child to malaria is as terrible for a parent in Africa as it is in the UK.

#     What isn’t a myth is that huge progress has been made in reducing child deaths from malaria, which have been halved since 2000. The UK Government’s support for malaria has made a massive difference.

#     What isn’t a myth is that we can aspire to be the generation to make malaria no more. 


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