UN attacks biting bugs that spread diseases

April 7, 2014 by Peter James Spielmann

Nobody likes mosquitoes, and the World Health Organization blames them for an array of diseases that kill a million people each year and threaten the health of half the world's people.

On World Health Day, WHO's executive director Jacob Kumaresan took aim at mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other biting bugs that spread malaria, dengue fever, and other ailments.

Kumaresan says warming temperatures around the world have helped spread diseases to new countries. He says , notoriously known as "bone-break disease" for the pain it causes, used to be confined to 10 countries but now has spread to a hundred, even to south Florida.

He also says malaria has spread to Ethiopia's highlands, where it once was too cool for the virus to thrive.

Explore further: Is the link between poverty and water-related disease making rich people sick?

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