Mosquitoes carrying the malaria parasite are more attracted to human body odor than uninfected insects, a study suggests.
Researchers found that infected insects were three times more likely to be lured towards a human scent.
They ran two tests, the first one using 100 infected malaria mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae) with the most deadly form of parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. They were placed into a container with a previously worn stoking. And a control test with 100 uninfected mosquitoes. The infected mosquitoes were three times more likely to be attracted to the smelly socking.
According to the latest figures, the World Health Organization said there were about 219 million cases of malaria in 2010 and 660,000 deaths.
Africa is the most affected continent: about 90% of all malaria deaths occur there.
How do you protect you children from getting infected?
According to the CDC if you are leaving the country you need to get a antimalarial drug, which is available by prescription only and use mosquito nets while sleeping.
If you are not planning on leaving the country, there are few things you can do to prevent mosquito bits. Stay indoors during dawn and dusk when most mosquitoes are active. Wear long sleeve shirts and pants and wear bug spray on any exposed skin. You can also help stop mosquitoes from breeding by making sure there is no standing water near your home.