x Mosquito Bites Can Cause More than Just a Bump
The Diseases you can get from Mosquitoes
We generally look at mosquitoes as an annoyance, but nothing more—unfortunately there can be more serious health consequences from these little pests. Viruses carried and transmitted to humans like West Nile and Chikungunya can make you feel sick and uncomfortable for a while and then go away, while other times these illnesses can have critical complications. Other diseases carried by mosquitoes like Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever and Malaria can have very serious consequences.
The problem starts when a female mosquito attacks a human or mammal in order to acquire blood for its offspring—the mother mosquito needs the protein in order to lay eggs. Unfortunately, when a mother mosquito bites another animal before they bite a human, they can transmit diseases from that animal to human beings through the mosquitoes’ saliva or blood.
Here are some of the different diseases mosquitoes can transmit to human beings:
• West Nile Virus—This virus is mostly transmitted to human beings from mosquitoes. Generally the symptoms of West Nile are not severe, most people experience fever and headache and then recover. But some people after contracting West Nile will experience a critical and deadly illness that causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis). The more life threatening form of West Nile virus includes severe headache, weakness, confusion and fever. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, they need to seek immediate medical attention.
• Encephalitis—The cause of any particular case of encephalitis cannot always be known, but is sometimes due to a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Primary encephalitis is a direct infection of the brain, whereas secondary encephalitis is caused by an errant immune system reaction that is responding to an infection in another part of the body but attacks the brain. Both of these types can be caused by viruses transmitted via mosquitoes.
• Chikungunya—is transmitted to humans almost exclusively by mosquitoes. The symptoms are joint pain, a sudden fever, fatigue, rash, muscle pain and fatigue. The symptoms and signs of chikungunya will arise anywhere from 2 to 7 days after being infected by a mosquito carrying the virus. Treating chikungunya involves relief of symptoms via increasing fluids, resting and taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen type medications (Tylenol, Advil or Motrin IB) to alleviate fever and joint pain. At one time it was only found in the tropics but recently cases have been seen in the Caribbean islands, Latin American countries, Canada, United States and Mexico. In fact, since April of 2015 almost 1.4 million cases have been seen.
• Dengue Fever—This one is rarely life threatening but will cause bleeding from the gums or nose and make you quite uncomfortable. There is a severe form of Dengue called Dengue hemorrhagic fever which can lead to fluid build-up in the lungs and gut from leaking capillaries. There is no cure for Dengue, complete rest and diminishing symptoms are the only treatment.
• Yellow Fever—Most travelers are required to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever so this particular virus is rare, though some cases have been reported in the U.S. Most people that contract it will not know they have it, but some people will experience flu like symptoms. Fluids, rest and medication to treat symptoms are all that can be done for the milder form of Yellow Fever. Approximately 15% of those with the milder symptoms will start to develop a more severe form of Yellow Fever that includes jaundice, a high fever and bleeding. They may also experience kidney and liver failure.
• Malaria—is caused by a parasite delivered by the bite of a mosquito. Worldwide, malaria kills 660,000 people every year. Malaria has become immune to many of the drugs used to treat it which makes it an even more dangerous disease. It is still quite common in tropical and subtropical countries which make it important to be vigilant and guard against mosquito bites when traveling in these areas. Researchers are still working to develop a vaccine against malaria but there is none available yet. Malaria symptoms include sweating, chills, high fever, diarrhea, vomiting and headache. Symptoms usually show up a few weeks after being infected by a malaria infected mosquito but can sometimes lie dormant for up to a year.
The mosquito borne diseases listed above paint quite a disturbing picture, but there are things you can do to prevent mosquito bites. Eradicating mosquitoes by getting rid of standing water on your property and items that hold water such as old tires is a first step, other things you can do are listed here:http://outxpro.com/blogs/news/80656964-5-things-you-must-do-to-get-rid-of-mosquitoes