‘Mosquitoes can transmit hepatitis’

Aside mosquitoes simply irritating with buzzing sound in the ear and spreading malaria, a Pathology expert, Professor Thamradeen Junaid has said some mosquitoes also infect their victims with hepatits B, the deadly virus responsible for liver cancer.

Professor Junaid spoke at a lecture titled “’Boy Joe’: Infections and Cancers”, in remembrance of Dr Joshua Ayodele Smith, a foremost consultant pathologist to the University of Ibadan in Ibadan.

Junaid, who linked this discovery to the research work of Dr Joshua Ayodele Smith and his collaborators far back in 1970’s, said studies had shown that hepatitis B virus could be carried by the culex mosquito.

The expert, stating that other mosquitoes’ species like Aedes aegyti also spread other viral diseases such as Zika and yellow fever virus, said that this could be a reason why hepatitis B is more common in the tropical areas.

The expert, noting that many viral infections including Ebola and Zika viruses had made many people sick, with some resulting into death, declared that even among some that recovered, some end up having the virus still present in body fluids.

“Zika virus could be present in fluids of the eye, urine and semen of recovered persons, new knowledge has shown,” he said.

However, Professor Junaid, also a former head of Department of Pathology, University of Ibadan, said that conditions that lower body immunity such as malnutrition, chronic illnesses and malaria could end up making hepatitis B infection develop into its chronic form and eventually liver fibrosis and cancer.

According to him, common cancers in our environment such as Burkitt lymphoma, liver cancer, cervical cancer have been proven beyond doubt to be caused by infectious agents, largely viruses.

He, however, asked that people be vaccinated against the viral diseases, adding that there are vaccinations to prevent common cancers like that of the liver and cervix.

At the occasion which had Dr Smith’s colleagues, relatives and friends like Professor Jide Ajayi, Professor Jide Bademosi and retired Justice Zai Smith, an endowment in his own was announced for the best degrees graduating student in pathology.

The endowment, Mr Banwo Smith was to motivate the up and coming generations to strive towards hard work and excellence; enthusiasm and approach to work.