As Amazon’s tree line recedes, malaria-wielding mosquitoes buzz in

by Paroma Basu, UW-Madison Communications

Scientists have long known that chronic deforestation can spawn a jungle of environmental woes. But now, a study confirms that vanishing forests inflict more than environmental damage: they may cause human diseases, too.

Working in the Peruvian Amazon, a team of researchers from UW-Madison and Johns Hopkins University found that malaria-inducing mosquitoes are likely to bite humans more than 200 times more often in cleared areas versus forested ones. Their results appear this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Jan. 6, 2005).
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