No doubt, mosquitoes are such bothersome insects plaguing mankind today. With just one bite, this tiny pest can cause you trouble for a period of time.
On most cases, a mosquito bite can be harmless. Small bumps may emerge on the bitten skin, which may itch for a while and then disappear and disregarded.
However, there are times when a simple mosquito bite can result into something life-threatening. These tiny insects consume the blood of their hosts and as they fly from one victim to another, they can transmit mosquito-borne diseases. Various types of diseases can be acquired from a mosquito bite that can range from merely an annoyance to grave and alarming illnesses. Exterminating mosquitoes can be tough, but there are certain actions that you can take to protect yourself from getting bitten and refrain from having a mosquito-borne illness.
Below is a list of mosquito-borne diseases and symptoms that you should watch out for:
Symptoms of Zika virus include fever, rash, pain in the joints and redness in the eyes. This disease is highly dangerous to pregnant women as it can cause birth defects such as microcephaly, which affects the head and brain.
Brazil and other South American countries are the areas where Zika virus is endemic. Up to date, there is still no known vaccine for Zika. Pregnant women should stay away from these areas to avoid coming into contact with the virus or mosquitoes carrying it.
This virus is found in many tourist spots in South America, the Pacific Islands, and Southeast Asia but is rare in the United States. Rash, fever, headache, abnormal bruising and bleeding gums are the typical symptoms of this virus. There is no vaccine for Dengue and if neglected and not treated properly, this virus can cause a hemorrhagic fever that can be very fatal. It’s best to take measures to prevent mosquito bites, especially in areas frequented by the Dengue virus.
West Nile Virus
Most of the time, people do not experience symptoms from this virus. However, there are cases when this virus causes fever, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and rash. On some occasion, this virus can lead to serious complications such as encephalitis and meningitis. Prevalent in almost every U.S. states, this virus, again, has no available vaccine.
Commonly found in African countries, Malaria has symptoms like headache, fever, chills and vomiting. It is rarely found in the U.S. but if you travel a lot especially in African countries, you may get infected with the disease too. If you are in a place where this virus is prevalent, it is highly recommended to sleep under a mosquito net, apply insect repellent spray or lotion and spray insecticides in the area to keep the mosquitoes away.
Jaundice is caused by yellow fever, which can make one’s skin and eyes look yellowish. In addition, symptoms like headache, backache, chills and vomiting may also be experienced. Mosquitoes carrying this disease are prevalent in South America or Africa. There is a vaccine available to fight off this disease.
Strong joint pain that in most cases may be severe that can affect one’s movement is the main symptom of Chikungunya. Rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue are other symptoms included in this disease. As there are many cases of Chikungunya in Europe and the Americas, this disease is found in Asia and India too. While many people recover from this disease, there is no known cure for Chikungunya. This disease may last for months or even years.
La Crosse Encephalitis
Most of the time, symptoms of this illness are not noticeable, but it may cause fever, headache, and nausea. There are around 100 cases of La Crosse Encephalitis reported in the US each year, mainly in the upper mid-west, mid-Atlantic and southwest.
If mosquitoes are chronic in your area, guard yourself from being bitten. You should avoid areas where there’s stagnant water in which mosquitoes may breed. Try to stay indoors during the times when these insects are out the most. If you need to go out, make sure to use repellents for your protection.
When you are faced with symptoms other than the itchiness and redness from a mosquito bite, consult a doctor immediately to prevent any further complications.