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Diseases carried by insects
- Some blood-sucking insects are very dangerous to humans because they can carry diseases.
- The Oriental rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopis) carries bubonic plague, a disease that in the 14th century wiped out a quarter of the population of Europe (25 million people)!
- Mosquitoes are a group of blood-feeding insects that carry diseases, in particular malaria, which is often fatal. Malaria does not occur in New Zealand but is very common in tropical countries, where about 120 million people get the disease every year.