The Caribbean Island Of Trinidad

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The Caribbean island of Trinidad contained a high concentration of Plasmodium vivax well into the 20th century. The malaria caused by the Plasmodium parasite greatly hindered the sugarcane and cacao farming on which Trinidad’s economy depended. The poor East Indian farmers and plantation workers were especially hard hit, as they were located in the areas where the disease was most common (Fonaroff 543). The capital, Port-of-Spain, was also continually threatened by malaria outbreaks originating in the large mangrove swamps that bordered the town. Even along the coast, large swaths of land were essentially uninhabitable because of the malaria that emanated from the brackish coastal thickets (British Medical Journal 477). The island…show more content…
This can lead to new generations of mosquito that are resistant to the pesticides and therefore much more difficult to wipe out. This is a significant obstacle to eradication efforts in places that are larger and less easily organized to fight malaria than Trinidad was. As a result, the measures that eliminated malaria in Trinidad must be applied in conjunction with an evolutionary understanding of mosquito resistance if they are to be effective elsewhere today. The mosquito eradicators fighting malaria in Trinidad had to overcome the host of geographic and ecological features that had made malaria so endemic. Among the fifteen species of mosquito native to the island, two acted as significant disease vectors (Fonaroff 533). One, Anopheles bellator lays its eggs in the water reservoirs of bromeliad flowers that grow on trees in the rainforests of the islands interior. At dusk, the females fly to nearby villages in search of blood meals (Fonaroff 548). The other, Anopheles aquasalis breeds in fresh or brackish water, often coastal mangrove swamps and rice paddies. It flies, sometimes miles from its breeding grounds, seeking blood meals in coastal areas, including Port-of-Spain (Fonaroff 533). The females invade houses at night and bite animals and people for sustenance (Fonaroff 555). Between the highland A. bellator and the coastal A. aquasalis, potential mosquito vectors inhabit nearly the entire island.
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