Most people recoil at the buzz of a mosquito, of course for the valid reason that these tiny insects can prove to be way more unsafe than being mere irritants.
At their worst, mosquito bites can even turn deadly!
Mosquitoes act as carriers of several diseases which can be passed on to humans. Their sting transmits viruses and microbes that can cause various diseases. Mosquitoes acquire these viruses from feeding on other infected animals prior to biting a human.
Mosquito-borne diseases are prevalent throughout the world, especially in India. In some cases, they can lead to severe illnessess, birth defects and even death.
However, the good news is that diseases spread by mosquitoes are preventable to a large extent if appropriate measures are taken, early detection is practiced and correct treatment is given.
Quick Facts –
- More than 1 million people die every year from mosquito-borne
- Only female mosquitoes are blood-feeders.
- Average life span of a mosquito is 2 weeks
Common Symptoms of Mosquito-Borne Infections
Most people infected with a mosquito-borne disease do not exhibit pronounced symptoms, especially in the early stage. However, some people may develop mild to moderate symptoms few days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
General symptoms may include high fever, body ache, headache and skin rashes. Mild forms of infection do not have any long-term effects and even in some cases the infected individual becomes immune to future infections as well. Only a small proportion of infections caused by mosquito bites result in severe illness, in even fewer cases they cause birth defects or even death.
Common Mosquito-Borne Diseases in India
Malaria is a serious and at times, a life-threatening disease, transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is typically found in tropical countries which have warm and humid climate such as in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Middle East.
Only female Anopheles mosquitoes spread malaria and this mosquito usually bites in the night time (between dusk and dawn).
Malaria fever symptoms usually appear between 10 to 15 days after the mosquito bites.
Moderate to severe shaking (chills), high grade, evening rise of fever (which comes and goes periodically) and profuse sweating are some common sign and symptoms of malaria.
If not treated well in time, malaria may become life-threatening.
Dengue (pronounced as DENG-gey) fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is usually found in tropical and subtropical areas of the world such as Southeast Asia and the western Pacific islands.
It is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito which is infected with a dengue virus.
Mild dengue fever causes a high fever, rashes, pain behind the eye sockets and muscle & joint pain. Severe form of dengue fever (also called dengue hemorrhagic fever) may cause internal bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure and even death.
Chikungunya is another viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes to humans. Mosquitoes responsible for causing this disease are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus and mostly they bite during the day time.
Chikungunya symptoms are characterised by fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, fatigue, headache, nausea and rashes.
Joint pain in chikungunya is often debilitating and severe, which may last for a few days to weeks.
Zika virus disease is caused primarily by Aedes mosquitoes. For most people it is a mild infection. However, it can be grave for pregnant women, as it has been reported to cause birth defects in the child.
Zika outbreaks have been reported in South East Asia, the Pacific Islands, South and Central America and parts of Africa.
People with Zika virus disease can exhibit symptoms including mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle & joint pain, malaise and headache. These symptoms usually last for 2 to 7 days.
The virus may cause birth defects in babies born to infected pregnant women. Babies born to infected mothers have underdeveloped heads and brain damage.
Prevention of Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Mosquito-borne diseases can be well prevented by practising simple measures.
Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by making sure that window and door are closed properly without leaving any open areas for mosquitoes to enter from.
Yard, Garden & Around the House
- Mosquitoes lay eggs in still water. Eliminate mosquito breeding places in the yard by emptying, covering or treating any items that holds water for a long time.
- Change water often in flower pots, birdbaths, bucket and cans.
- Clean rain gutters and pooled water on flat roofs.
- Get rid of unused tyres and other items that could collect water.
Consider wearing covered clothes, long-sleeve shirts/tops, full pants and socks while spending time outdoors.
While going outdoors, day or night, apply 4 dots of Good knight Fabric Roll-On to your upper and lower parts of the dress. It is completely safe to use – a revolutionary product that does not stain clothes and is 100% natural.
Good knight Patches can be stuck on cribs and strollers of kids. These patches are made of plant based ingredients like citronella and eucalyptus oil and are 100% safe for children.
By following the simple tips and measures, we can protect ourselves from these disease causing mosquitoes.