Dirty Socks Can Prevent Malaria, says Researcher
An African researcher has found that the foul odor emanating from dirty socks lures mosquitoes. This can be used to devise deadly traps for the killer insects, he suggests.
The researcher, Dr. Fredros Okumu who works at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania, found that mosquitoes are more attracted to the bad smell emanating from dirty feet than to sleeping humans. His research used this finding to create a synthetic mixture contaminated with insecticide which killed the mosquitoes, when they bit the mixture.
Dr. Okumu’s interesting research project has been given a $775,000 grant to install the mosquito-slaying devices in Tanzanian villages. They will complement mosquito repellents and nets to combat malaria.
The WHO reveals that malaria claimed a toll of about 781,000 people in 2009. About 90% of the annual malarial deaths happen in Africa. About 92% of the victims are children below five years.
Mosquitoes also spread other deadly diseases such as the West Nile virus, filariasis, yellow fever and dengue which alone sickens about 50 million victims annually.