Malaria – a Humorous Description
The reason why I prepared this page is because I was doing some research prior to my proposed tour to Turkey and read some warnings about Malaria. So I researched that as well and was absolutely fascinated regarding the geniousness of this little bug. So I will explain in shorter and hopefully more interesting detail than the wikipedia sources I drew from.
But first a little introduction. I once read a theory about the evolution of man that rather intrigued me. Perhaps it is the biggest pile of hogwash, but for the purposes of this argument, interesting nevertheless.
The theory goes that, at some point, man the ape returned back to the ocean. Perhaps there was too much competition on land, and it was safer in the water – wading around by the shore, occasionally darting inland to grab some land food. This would have straightened our backs, with all this wading and learning how to swim.
It also could explain why we don’t have hair on our bodies, but do so on our heads. And the man, the hunter gatherer and bringer of bread to the family, would more often venture out of the water in search of food, while the woman would do more wading to tend to babies in safer water territory.
Babies who, by the way, instinctively know how to hold their breaths and swim the moment they are born. And by spending more time in the water, the woman would tend to have less hair on her body than the man. And this could also explain why humans have a layer of blubber on their skin, like other water mammals and unlike land animals. And why we have slight webs between our fingers.
Anyway, the bottom line is that our lovely, blubbery, porous pink skin is just the juiciest and tastiest morsel for the mosquito to snuggle it’s little schnozzle into, not having to fight past layers of thick hair. And apparently most of these mosquitoes feed only on humans.
The female mosquito, in search of blood to feed its babies, impregnates into us a healthy dose of its saliva so that our blood does not coagulate in its thin beak and fragile pouch. This is what stings for us, and where the Malaria parasite lives, awaiting its prey.
Once the parasite has made it into our blood stream, it makes its way to our liver, where it sets up its beach head. Napoleon would be put to shame after discovering the mastery of this little bug’s strategic assault on our body.
So the parasite basically infiltrates a Trojan horse into our liver, where it starts to propagate asexually. Meaning it doesn’t have to waste its time looking for a suitable partner but just goes ahead and starts duplicating itself. Meanwhile, it is sending out a cloaking signal (yes, just like the Clingons in Star Trek) from within this Trojan horse so as to remain undetected by our body’s immune system.
Once this parasite (for simplicity, let’s just refer to is as “little shit”) duplicates itself enough, it sends out its infantry in search of juicy red blood cells. Penetrating those, it starts duplicating within them as well.
But usually such infected blood cells would be exterminated in the spleen. So to work its way around that, each of these little shits produces as much as 60 different types of protein which, when on the surface of the blood cell, make it stickable to the surface of blood vessels, hence avoiding potential doom by not circulating through the spleen. And these proteins are the first moment when the little shit becomes detectable to our body’s immune system. However, by the time our body comes up with some antibody, the little shit regularly switches to one of its other 59 proteins. Furthermore, each of these thousands upon thousands of little shits has its own 60, so the body’s immunity system stands absolutely zero chance, because altogether the number of different and constantly changing proteins are essentially infinite.
What we have then is this military force which launches in a wave from the central beach head, duplicating within blood cells, so that about every three or four days the blood cells burst, exploding from over population and sending a wave of fever onto the poor culprit, so that the next wave of produced population can go about the body in search of fresh red blood cells again.
And for what purpose, ladies and gentlemen? Well, in the hopes of getting sucked up by another mosquito, so it could live comfortably in its saliva pouch. The mosquito, considered this little shit’s primary host, where the human is only the intermediary host. In other words, we, the supreme being on this planet and who God made the ruler of all the animals, is but a stepping stone between one mosquito’s snot and the next!!
How to Fight Back Against this Horrible Bug
Well, apparently this little shit is the most responsible for the evolution of our genome over our recent development, with waves of Africans and others dying off, leaving some fortunate to pass on their gene secrets.
Much is spent researching on this, various drugs have been devised (refer to more details here < ), and it seems a vaccine and other solutions may be around the corner, now that even Bill Gates has gotten involved.
So you can try those options, but from a caravan traveler‘s point of view, since these mosquitoes mostly go out feeding at night, you can spray your entire truck with DDT, or I prefer this special fungous < you can spray on your walls. Natural, not harmful to you, and kills the mosquito. Who generally like to hang around on your walls before annoyingly venturing to whine by your ear as you try to sleep. And make sure to get those nets, laced with chemicals which kill the mosquito on contact. Keep them bugs out of your truck and away from your person. You can also spray Deet < (like in Deep Woods Off < ) all over your clothes and wear long pants etc., but I wouldn’t recommend putting any on your skin, because apparently 50% of it <confirm?> stays in your fat blood cells and they haven’t figured out yet what the consequences of this might be.
For my skin, as I spent six summers treeplanting in British Colombia Canada and have lots of experience with mosquitoes, I use citronella spray. You can even take a lemon rind and squeeze it. You will notice a thin spray squirted from the outside of the rind, which oddly enough, is even flammable. Otherwise, you can get citronella candles and they generally keep the mosquitoes out of your truck too. Oh yes, and if you don’t eat bananas (makes your blood smell sweet and delicious) but eat lots and lots of garlic, that will usually send the mosquitoes towards a more favourable target (but not so much garlic so as to keep away potential romance!). And the colour of the clothes you wear also makes a difference < .
But since I found it difficult to get specially sprayed mosquito netting, because those little b8stards seem to get through the smallest crack many times, and the net over my bed can be an obstructive annoyance (especially if I have to go relieve myself several times during the night after a juicy evening of many beers), I found one little trick which works great, and that is to use a fan. I made a special sleeping bag sheet whereby I sowed up two of the sides of a regular large sheet. I crawl into that and it manages to keep the buggers off my legs and ankles, where the skin is so soft and tender. If it’s cold enough I’ll put the sleeping bag on top and prevent them from sliding their beaks through the pores of the sheets. I then cover up most of my body with the sheet and wrap it around my neck so that only my face or head is sticking out. For a long time I would use my face as bait and splat the buggers as I heard them approaching, but I often failed and it kept me up most of the night in utter frustration (it inspired me to write a mosquito movie script, Gozquito, and a mosquito story about killer justice, which I have not finalised yet). But most recently I heard about the fan thing and that works like a charm. Without the fan, as soon as I would move, the mosquito would feel the breeze in the air and immediately hide somewhere. With the constant breeze, the mosquito constantly hides. The amazing thing about them is that they always seemed to come out just as I was dozing off. As if they could tell. Quite amazing, but unbelievably annoying.
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Copyright © KENAX, by Karel Kosman – All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the Philippines, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all. These pages in this section cover my various solo travels through Europe before meeting my wife.