[Representational image]Pixabay

As a species, mosquitoes are said to have been around for more than 200 million years. And as fiction goes, in one particular case they helped in bring back dinosaurs to Earth! However, in real life they are rarely as helpful, and have been classified as one of the biggest public menaces of all time. 

So it may come as a surprise that a special day is dedicated just for the species to which all we want to say is: "Buzz off!" What may come as a bigger surprise is that World Mosquito Day is not a new phenomenon at all, and has its origins more than a hundred years ago.

World Mosquito Day is celebrated on Aug. 20, because that was the day Dr Ronald Ross discovered that female Anopheles mosquitoes are the carriers of the micro-organisms that cause malaria. This successful discovery of the vector that malaria was using to spread went a long way to help the world combat the disease. 

And it was the good doctor who decreed soon after the discovery that the day be observed as World Mosquito Day henceforth. He received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902 for this discovery. Now, although the British claim him as well as the honour of his discovery as their own, the official Nobel Prize website lists the prize for India.

Since that discovery and that of quinine, humans and mosquitoes have fought a pitched battle of delivering and obliterating diseases, one which is continuing to this day. While the little buzzers have now been discovered to be the carriers of other diseases like dengue, chikungunya and more recently the zika virus, humans are in the process of coming up with newer and better methods to combat them.

Here's wishing us more victories in this pursuit and a future where we are no more bothered by mosquitoes or their nefarious designs. 

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