{ subscribe_url:'//blogs.loc.gov/share/sites/library-of-congress-blogs/inside_adams.php' }

Mosquitos: Our “Unfriendly” Neighbors! Zika and Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases

This is a guest post by Tomoko Y. Steen, Ph.D. a Science Reference librarian in the Science, Technology & Business Division.

Oh! That horrid Mosquito. Florence Hooper Baker (composer). Hitchcock's Music Store, New York, [1882]. //www.loc.gov/item/ihas.100004247/

Oh! That horrid Mosquito. Florence Hooper Baker (composer). Hitchcock’s Music Store, New York, [1882]. //www.loc.gov/item/ihas.100004247/

Every summer when the temperatures reach their peak, daily news coverage begins to express concern about mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitos have been our unfriendly neighbors for many centuries during the summer months and year round in some parts of the world. Not only do they cause itching and discomfort with their bites, but they can potentially transmit serious diseases. This year there was heightened concern due to the Zika virus. Discussions of mosquito-borne diseases started much earlier in the spring, much earlier than usual, because of the increasing concern about the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly in newborn babies in Brazil. Given that Brazil was the host country of the 2016 Olympics and expecting visitors in addition to athletes, there were serious concerns about migration between Brazil and other countries and the spread of the Zika virus.

The Science, Technology and Business Division of the Library of Congress sponsored and will continue to sponsor lectures on related topics, and staff have also created guides on this subject. While recent news coverage has been directed primarily at Zika, it is important to be aware of prevention, transmission processes and outcomes of infection by other mosquito-borne diseases.

Commonly known mosquito-borne diseases are: Malaria, Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Japanese Encephalitis, and Zika. In addition to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation’s Global Issues and academic institutions such as the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, have comprehensive guides on each disease. Zika is a unique case, because a recent technique known as “gene drives” was used as a test in controlling mosquito populations. By releasing genetically modified mosquitos, scientists hope to wipe out mosquitos that carry Zika.

The Library of Congress has a historical manuscript collection on mosquito research including research reports by Walter Reed: Yellow Fever; a compilation of various publications. Results of the work of Maj. Walter Reed, Medical Corps, United States Army, and the Yellow Fever Commission that was presented by Mr. Owen as well as correspondence from Walter Reed.

For further information:

Upcoming Lecture

Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Monday, September 26, 2016 “Mosquitos and their Diseases” in the Mumford Room with Professor Radhakrishnan Padmanabhan, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Georgetown University, School of Medicine (co-sponsored with The Office of Health Services).

Past Lectures

One Health: Vector-Borne Diseases
May 18, 2016 “One Health” with Dr. Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Webcast: //www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=7365&loclr=eanw

Climate Change & Migration of Disease Outbreaks
May 18, 2011 “Predicting Disease Outbreaks from Space,” presented by Assaf Anyamba, Ph.D.
Webcast: //www.loc.gov/today/cyberlc/feature_wdesc.php?rec=5183

Science Reference Guides

One Health
Zika Virus

Other Resources

Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL)
See: http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/search?searchTerm=mosquitos#/titles
The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), of which the Library of Congress is a member, is a consortium of libraries dedicated to digitizing and making available the biodiversity literature in their collections.

Attention Science Teachers! This One is for You!

The Library of Congress web site has a wealth of resources that may be helpful to you and to your students. Here are just a few suggestions… Your first stop should be the Science Reference Section’s web page. One fun resource you will see is their Everyday Mysteries project with “mysteries” like Why is it […]

Celestial Charts: Exploring and Observing Space at the Geography and Map Division

Today’s post is from Carlyn Osborn, a Library Technician in the Geography and Map Division. Carlyn has a B.A. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies. With high-resolution images of Pluto and the search for […]

Upcoming Book Talk on the Mediterranean Diet, May 13

Author, chef, and television personality Amy Riolo has written the following guest post about the history and benefits Mediterranean cuisine for her upcoming book talk on May 13 – “The Mediterranean Diet: Delicious Food Prescriptions for Transforming Illness.” Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food (Hippocrates) Almost daily we are learning how […]

Upcoming Book Talk on May 14: Behind the Gas Mask

The following post is authored by Mary Jane Cavallo, an  Automation Operations Coordinator for the Science, Technology and Business Division. Did you know that during World War I America suffered more casualties from poison gas than any other nation involved in the war? In his new book, Behind the Gas Mask: The U.S. Chemical Warfare […]

Battling with the Scale: A Look Back at Weight Loss Trends in the U.S.

As we enter this new year, many of us have made resolutions to spend more time with family, to volunteer, perhaps to stop smoking, and of course, to get fit and lose weight. The widespread desire to become healthier and shed those extra pounds is met with a plethora of weight loss products, programs, and […]

Arachnophilia: Celebrating Spiders on Halloween

Spiders have been spinning their webs across the planet for hundreds of millions of years.  Without a doubt, we have forged a special relationship with these eight-legged wonders. One can find pictographs of spiders on the walls of the ancient site of Göbekli Tepe in Turkey, as well as references to spiders in mythology, creation […]

Early American Beer

Today’s post is written by science librarian and culinary specialist Alison Kelly. She has provided her expertise in a number of Inside Adams blog posts related to food history and cooking. Alison is also a gardener and a horticulture subject specialist- she wrote  a post about Women in Horticulture that highlights a selection of books […]

Celebrating Librarian Extraordinaire Ruth S. Freitag

In celebration of  Women’s History Month the American Library Association’s  Feminist Task Force  invited submissions to highlight valued women in libraries.  Library of Congress Science Reference Section Head Constance Carter has contributed this article about her mentor and inspiration Ruth S. Freitag. Ruth S. Freitag is a librarian who should be celebrated during Women’s History Month.   Admired by grateful […]

‘Tis the Season for Squash

Once Autumn hits the Northern Hemisphere we begin to see a plethora of gourds, such as pumpkins and squash, popping up all around our towns and homes. We use them as decorations to signify the season, as well consume them in pies, casseroles, and even beverages! Squash and pumpkins are angiosperms (flowering plants) and part […]