The mosquito is an intriguing insect. It has been labelled the ‘world’s most dangerous animal’, but how much do we know about mosquitoes and how much should we know? The success of the mosquito lies in its adaptation to a wide variety of environments, especially warm climates. Indeed, many species are found across Hong Kong and the wider region. Today, mosquito-borne diseases including Dengue fever, Zika, malaria and Japanese Encephalitis are widespread and on the rise across Asia.
Why do mosquitoes exist and how have they impacted society? How should we deal with the mosquito as an irritant and a disease carrier? This engaging workshop will open up the mysterious world of the mosquito. It will explore how and why the mosquito gained visibility as a threat and has fluctuated between nuisance and menace over time. It will examine the complex interactions between mosquitoes, humans, disease, and environment, and consider the role of the mosquito in disease transmission. The discussion will further challenge common perceptions of mosquitoes: from their biology, to their representation in the media and in art, to their global health impact.
The workshop will also show how mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria have shaped Hong Kong’s history, while Dengue and Zika viruses present new threats and challenges. The workshop is open to the public and will feature fun mosquito related activities for younger members of the audience.
Ria Sinha is Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for the Humanities and Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. She trained in biology and parasitology at King’s College London and gained a PhD from Imperial College London in collaboration with the Malaria Research Group at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in the Netherlands. Dr. Sinha’s current research focuses primarily on vector-borne diseases and the deployment of anti-disease technologies in the field. She is interested in the variables that shape disease ecologies and in the socio-political processes that influence the development and implementation of novel biomedical strategies. Among other projects, she is currently completing a history of malaria in Hong Kong.