Disease Hunters - S1E3: Mosquito Mayhem
Our war with mosquitoes is bloody. Mosquito-borne diseases kill over a million people each year, making mosquitoes the world’s deadliest creatures. Malaria alone infected 228 million people and killed 405,000 people in 2018. Who can stop this menace? Meet the disease hunters who combat mosquitoes and study the diseases they transmit like dengue and malaria. Through leading experts in the US, Thailand and Singapore, the programme explores promising solutions to mosquito-borne diseases, such as monoclonal antibodies, genetically-engineered mosquitoes and Wolbachia bacteria. They also unpack emerging challenges such as drug resistant super malaria, insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, zoonotic transfer, global warming and migration. As infectious mosquitoes get established in new territories where populations have low immunity, they could cause severe outbreaks. The programme also weighs the merits of time-tested methods of mosquito control such as insecticides and public engagement.
What may bring the next pandemic? This 3-part series features “Disease Hunters” on the frontlines as they identify, study or kill infectious diseases, vectors and microbes. It stars leading scientists from Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Japan, Philippines, Iceland, India, UK and USA, and highlights international collaboration and data-sharing as scientists seek to keep pace with potential pathogens. The series also connects today’s outbreaks with historical epidemics and explores factors that may accelerate future outbreaks like human-animal interactions, drug resistance, climate change, urbanisation and globalisation. Through cinematic medical animations, it shows the unseen operations of viruses, bacteria and mosquito-borne diseases, vaccines, antibiotics, bacteriophages and monoclonal antibodies. Diseases discussed include COVID-19 coronavirus, influenza, H1N1 swine flu, polio, superbugs, tuberculosis, malaria and dengue.