Being surrounded by mosquitoes can be irritating and annoying, not only because of their buzzing, but also because of mosquito bites.What makes mosquitoes even more harmful are the bacteria, viruses and parasites they transmit, causing disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mosquito bites cause more than a million deaths each year, with malaria being one of the leading causes of death.
Here are some of the mosquito-borne diseases you should know about :
- Malaria :
Caused by a Plasmodium parasite, this disease is spread by the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The parasites multiply in the liver and affect red blood cells. Symptoms of the disease include fever, headache and vomiting. Malaria can be fatal if not treated immediately.
- Dengue :
The dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, by A albopictus. Symptoms of the disease include high fever, severe headache, pain in the muscles and bones and mild bleeding from the nose and gums, among others. Some people can also get a more serious form of the disease called dengue hemorrhagic fever.
- Chikungunya :
It is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, muscle and joint pain, and headache. However, there is no specific treatment for the disease. Rest and drink fluids until symptoms go away.
- Zika fever :
The Zika virus is also transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Symptoms are mild and may include fever, joint muscle pain, or a rash. However, there is no vaccine to prevent the virus.
- Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis):
This disease is caused by three filiform parasitic filarial worms, Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi and Brugia timori, all transmitted by mosquitoes. It damages the lymphatic system and results in painful and swollen limbs. Lymphatic damage can also lead to frequent attacks of infection.
- Japanese encephalitis :
The Japanese encephalitis virus (JE) breeds in flooded rice fields, marshes and standing water around plants. The virus can attack the central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord. Most JE infections are mild or have no obvious symptoms. There is a vaccine to protect one against the Japanese encephalitis virus
To avoid contracting these diseases, you must consciously avoid being surrounded by mosquitoes, in addition to using repellents to get rid of them.