When the first episode of The Strain aired last night on FX, the opening scene had a number of viewers reaching for their mouse, ready to click on the betting websites they frequentned.
But what were they betting on? Turns out, they were all placing wagers on the identity of the creature known as a ‘giant-hunting mosquito’.
Here’s what happened.
The Giant-Hunting Mosquito
If you’ve never heard of a giant-hunting mosquito, then prepare to be enlightened. As its name would suggest, this parasite is capable of hunting and feeding on enormous prey. The biggest adult mosquito specimens, which can grow up to seven inches in length, have been recorded sucking the blood of wild animals, including humans. The only way to stop a swarm of these blood-seeking parasites is with silver nitrate or other insecticides sprayed on ceilings and walls. In rare cases, people have even died after being bitten. In the wrong hands, a giant-hunting mosquito could become a public health nuisance or even a dangerous wild animal.
Why Are People Interested In The Strain?
Created by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, The Strain is an adaptation of the 2012 novel of the same name by Jonathan Maberry. Set in New York City, the story follows Dr. Edwin Green, a medical entomologist, who, as the CDC warns, is battling an “exceptional and unprecedented level of a potentially deadly virus”. Dr. Green is one of the first on the scene when a virus-infected person — typically described as a “stranger” or “alien” — arrives in the city, bearing an unsettling resemblance to a gigantic mosquito.
In the course of investigating the sudden epidemic, Dr. Green uncovers a dark and sinister secret involving vampires, werewolves, and a terrifying parasitic organism that has the ability to mimic human behavior and appearance.
Giant-Hunting Mosquito Is The Strain’s Main Supernatural Beast
If you thought that last year’s phenomenal success of The Walking Dead, the zombie TV series, would make you immune to any kind of mosquito attack, then think again. It seems that the giant-hunting mosquito is now our biggest worry — at least, if you live in the United States. The CDC has designated the giant-hunting mosquito as the primary vector for the 2019 H1N1 pandemic. The spread of this virus, which can cause a form of pneumonia, has the potential to be far more dangerous. Not only do the giant-hunting mosquitoes carry the H1N1 virus, but they are also susceptible to other types of pathogens, including the West Nile virus and dengue fever. In worst case scenarios, someone infected with the H1N1 virus could have a fatal reaction to the bite of a single mosquito.
Giant-Hunting Mosquito As A Public Health Riddle
As a medical doctor, epidemiologist, and virologist, Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the CDC, has dealt with many lethal viruses over the course of his career. One of the things he’s most concerned about is the possibility that a highly pathogenic virus, such as the COVID-19 virus, could be passed on to humans by a creature that is a vector for numerous other pathogens. In this case, it would not be a new virus that caused the epidemic, but rather an old adversary that was released due to the pandemic.
Speaking to the press, Frieden said the following: “I worry that people will be more likely to get sick and even die from a mosquito bite than from COVID-19. Mosquitoes are the primary vector for many deadly viruses, including HIV, and the risk of getting sick from a mosquito bite is extremely high. While there is no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted via mosquitoes, it would be incredibly irresponsible to not include this possibility in our planning.”
The Strain was envisioned as the antidote to all of this. Despite its macabre storyline, which features infected humans turning into vampires, werewolves, and other creatures, the series centers around the battle against a mosquito-borne virus, rather than the monsters that inhabit the dark alleyways of New York City. As a result, the giant-hunting mosquito has become a bit of a public health concern. With the help of nature and science, however, Dr. Green is determined to find a way to save humanity, even if it means sacrificing his own life.
Where Can I Bet On The Strain?
If you’re looking to place a wager on The Strain, then you have a few options. First, you can join one of the many online betting forums and start gaming on the fly, using your mobile device. Second, you can purchase one of the many different books — many of which are available as e-books — that offer odds on the upcoming episodes. Finally, you can tune in to watch the show on FX tonight, with the premieres at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, or you can catch up with the latest episode on-demand from various digital storefronts.
What Are The Strain’s Most Popular Gameplans?
The most popular gameplans for The Strain are currently underdogs and total gambles. On the one hand, you have the giant-hunting mosquito, which is currently the favorite in the “over/under” category, with odds of 3.5 to 1. On the other, you have the white plague, which has odds of 12 to 1. While these odds may seem extreme, they actually represent a moderate amount of risk, given the potential harm that the giant-hunting mosquito could cause. In the case of the white plague, the harm comes from a relatively harmless, but highly contagious bacteria that spreads through human contact and bites. As a result, this gameplan has become extremely popular amongst high-risk gamblers who want to maximize their winnings, even if it means courting disaster. To read more, visit our blog post on why are people interested in The Strain?.
Is There An Infectious Disease Riddle Behind The Strain?
Like many great writers before him, Jonathan Maberry has created a story that keeps the reader intrigued and guessing. While the giant-hunting mosquito is the adversary that our protagonist wrestles with, the bigger mystery at the heart of The Strain is the causative agent behind the pandemic. In the novel, Maberry doesn’t outright say what the virus is, but gives hints that it is some kind of a communicable disease, which is borne by mosquitoes. While it is safe to assume that COVID-19, the virus that causes the current pandemic, is the infectious disease that Maberry is referring to, the specifics still remain a bit of a mystery.
To this day, scientists do not know with absolute certainty what caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Early reports and speculation suggest that a combination of factors, including environmental disruption, human behavior change, and a virus gone “bad”, helped to unleash this scourge. One of the things that makes the COVID-19 pandemic so unique is that it appears to behave and spread in a way that no other virus has before it. While there are theories that posit that the virus was naturally occurring and simply mutated, there is no way of knowing for sure. What we do know is that the virus originated in China and that it has since infected hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people around the world.
How Is Evolution A Factor In The Strain?
You may be wondering how the topic of evolution came up in relation to The Strain. As it turns out, the evolution of viruses and other microbes is a major theme in the show. In the first season, we meet Dr. Green during a time in which giant pandemic viruses are evolving, changing, and adapting to fit new hosts. As a result, the first episode is heavily focused on the emergence of a new strain of Dengue fever, which is carried by a type of mosquito that is native to Mexico. During a recent press conference, series creator Chuck Hogan revealed the following: “If you look at where we are in the season — particularly in the first episode — there is a clear parallel between that and what is happening with the pandemic,” he said. “If you look at that microbe, it is changing as it is adapting to fit new hosts.”