Mosquito bites are not only painful; they can also bring about a lot of diseases. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, diseases brought about by mosquitoes kill more than a million people every year. The complications of dengue fever, yellow fever and malaria are examples of how deadly mosquito bites are.
Here are some diseases that can be brought about by mosquitoes:
This is a disease brought about by parasites such as Plasmodium falciparum or Plasmodium vivax. Female Anopheles mosquitoes get the parasites by feeding on the blood of infected people. The parasites live in mosquito for 10 to 18 days and are transmitted when the mosquito injects spit while feeding on another person. Symptoms will then ensue, such as fevers, chills, sweating, headache, and influenza-like conditions. The infection may lead to serious complications such as kidney failure and death if not treated immediately.
2. Dengue fever
The dengue virus is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. A mosquito can spread dengue within seven days after feeding on an infected person. As the dengue virus spreads and harms cells, infected people will feel symptoms like a high fever, headache, back and joint pains, rashes, and eye discomfort. If the fever extends for a week and gives rise to bleeding, the condition may have progressed to dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Chikungunya fever is caused by a virus that is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti (yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquito). The incubation period is around 3 to 7 days and symptoms include fever, joint pains with or without swelling, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, lower back pain and a rash.
4. Zika Virus
The Zika virus is also transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito; however, it can likewise be transmitted between persons during sexual intercourse. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are daytime biters. There is no vaccine or treatment for this disease, so travelers from infested areas should exercise caution and protect themselves against mosquito bites.
5. Yellow fever
Yellow fever is caused by a flavivirus that infects primates in Africa and South America. Like dengue, it is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti, the yellow fever mosquito. The virus lives in the body for 3 to 6 days before the person feels symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, and illness. There may be a period of remission before more serious symptoms appear such as bleeding and abdominal pain. There is no treatment for yellow fever but people can get vaccinated against it.
Centers for Disease Control- NIOSH (2019). Mosquito-Borne Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/outdoor/mosquito-borne/default.html
Mosquito World (2019). Mosquito Diseases. Retrieved from http://www.mosquitoworld.net/when-mosquitoes-bite/diseases/
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