CTBC International Academy Newsletter_Week 2

Airborne hordes plague CIA

As we know, CTBC International Academy is located in a grassy, expansive campus that shares with CTBC Business School. Due to warm and hot weather comes earlier this year and we are surrounded by plants and trees, the school will apply insecticide in potential mosquito breeding areas around the vast campus.  It’s a good chance to show all the students how to remove sources of standing water where the mosquitoes breed.  CIA’s students start helping remove water from the pots and plants during recess.  Hopefully, students, teachers, and staff can return to school after the holiday weekend to much fewer of the insects.

Mosquitoes are universally bothersome in most parts of the world.  In small numbers, they can be annoying during camping, hiking, or any outdoor activity, especially around sunset and for several hours after.  In larger numbers, they can make outdoor activities very difficult or close to impossible.  Northern countries with vast forests and muskeg areas can literally have clouds of mosquitoes, and people must be covered from head to toe in protective clothing and specially designed netted headgear when venturing into these areas.  These immense populations of insects can also make life a nightmare for animals.  Moose are known to spend most of their time submerged in ponds to avoid bites.

Mosquitoes live on blood.  When mosquitoes bite, they draw out blood while injecting some of their salivae. Their saliva contains an anticoagulant and proteins. The proteins are foreign substances that trigger the body’s immune system. To fight them the body’s immune system releases histamine, a compound that helps white blood cells get to the affected area. Histamine is what causes itchiness, inflammation, and swelling.  Some people seem to be more sensitive to bites than others.  There are different theories to explain the difference, but it may just come down to differences in individual immune systems.  So, one person might get a slight itch while another will get a noticeable welt and be driven crazy with itchiness.

Here in the tropical latitudes, larger mosquito populations pose a special threat, that of potentially life-threatening diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, and others.  In recent years, there have been dengue fever outbreaks in Taiwan, especially in the south, and usually during the rainy season.

In dealing with mosquitoes, prevention is certainly the way to go.  Remove sources of standing water where the mosquitoes breed.  Use repellent and/or electric bug zappers.  Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers with socks.  Keep windows and doors closed to prevent the pests from getting inside.  If you do get bitten and develop flu-like symptoms, seek professional medical attention.

students helping remove water from the pot

students cleaning pots