Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Why Mosquitoes Are More Than Your Average Blood-Sucking Bugs

By on November 29, 2012

No one likes to be bitten by a mosquito. Generally, a mosquito bite is nothing but a mere annoyance that swells up, cause skin irritation, and then it eventually fades over time. Unfortunately, there are certain mosquitoes that do more than suck your blood.

Certain mosquitoes have killed more than a million people around the world every year by transmitting deadly viruses and parasites. This transmission of diseases happen when a female mosquito bites an infected human or animal, sucks on the diseased blood and passes it to another victim. With this process, mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as Encephilitiedes, Malaria, and Dengue can easily spread. For this reason, mosquito diseases became a huge concern among many people.

Three Common Diseases Spread By Mosquitoes

There are various mosquito-borne diseases that can lead to fatal consequences if it is not treated immediately. Although mosquitoes are more common in tropical regions, it is still imperative to be informed about the potential health risks of being bitten by these bugs. That being said, it is as important to emphasize that not every mosquito bite will lead to lethal health risks. Most mosquito bites are nothing but a nuisance; however, if there is an outbreak, it is best to protect yourself from becoming the next victim.

Arboviral Encephilitiedes

This is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. This illnesses causes inflammation of the brain, and in severe cases, the inflammation will lead to brain damage, coma, and death. Brain damage and death occurs in extreme cases; however, the most common symptoms of this illness manifest as nothing more than flu-like indications, such as:

  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • Malaise
  • Muscle cramps and pains

There are also instances wherein the symptoms never show up; while in other victims, the symptoms are much more serious. The victims who suffer from these signs need to seek immediate medical treatment:

  • Confusion
  • High Fever
  • Stiff back and neck
  • Vomiting
  • Light sensitivity

Malaria

This mosquito-borne disease is caused by parasites known as plasmodia. The parasites are transmitted between humans through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. This type of mosquito carries the parasite and can only infect a human if it has already bitten an individual with the disease.

The plasmodia parasite will enter the human bloodstream, travel to the liver, and reproduce rapidly. Once the parasites are in the blood, they will destroy the red blood cells. The symptoms of this illness usually manifest about eight to thirty days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms are usually flu-like, including:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

Malaria can lead to anemia, which is a condition wherein the number of red blood cells is significantly decreased. The remains of the destroyed red blood cells will then clump together, which will eventually block the blood vessels. As a result, it will cause severe brain and kidney damage which are lethal.

Dengue Fever

This is a potentially deadly disease caused by a virus. This virus can be transmitted between humans through the bite of an Aedes mosquito. The human can contract this mosquito-borne disease if he/she has been bitten by an Aedes mosquito that has previously bitten a person infected with the virus. This disease is rare in the United State; however, it is a very common and serious health threat in warm sub-tropical and tropical regions across the globe.

After the virus enters the bloodstream of the victim, it will spread throughout the body. The symptoms for dengue typically appear around eight to ten days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The initial symptoms may include:

  • High fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Body aches and muscle pains
  • Headaches

Most people can recover from this virus, especially if they are given proper medical attention; however, it can also progress to more fatal complications known as dengue hemorrhagic fever. The symptoms for this illness includes: severe hemorrhage and shock.

How To Prevent Mosquito Bites

Preventing mosquito bites is the best possible protection against mosquito-borne diseases. Thankfully, there are pest control products you can use, and there are preventive measures you can practice to avoid such deadly diseases. Here are some tips:

  • Apply mosquito repellant that contains 30% DEET. For younger children, you can use insect repellants with 10% DEET.
  • Wear shirts with long sleeves and long pants, especially when walking outdoors
  • Avoid going out during the mosquitoes’ feeding time which usually occurs during dawn and dusk.
  • Throw away empty bottles, cans, or other containers that might hold water. These bugs love to dwell near stagnant and murky water; thus, proper disposal of trash will reduce the number of mosquito species.
  • As an additional tip, you can also use natural pest control solutions, including mosquito nets, traps, garlic repellant, and citronella candles.
  • For severe mosquito infestation at home, immediately seek professional services from a trusted pest control company.
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The author, Kris Lim, is a health advocate who writes about the dangers of mosquito-borne diseases. She writes about the common diseases spread by mosquitoes to help raise awareness about their dangers. She also writes for DC pest control companies and websites.

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