These 7 Major Mosquito-Borne Diseases That Can Be Life-threatening

Mosquito-borne diseases are certain diseases that are spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. The female mosquito needs blood for reproduction. When it sucks blood from an infected host and bites another person, this infection can spread. Sometimes, the infecting organism can multiply within the mosquito before infection occurs. There are many diseases spread by mosquitoes, and specific diseases are spread by a specific type of mosquito.

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Some of the most common mosquito-borne diseases are:

1. Japanese encephalitis

It is a mosquito-borne viral infection. It is the leading cause of viral encephalitis in Asia. Humans can get the disease a mosquito that carries the virus bites them.

2. Dengue

It is spread by Aedes mosquitoes. Common symptoms include sudden high fever (40°C/ 104°F) followed by a rash 2 to 5 days later. Fatigue, headache, pain behind the eyes, and mild bleeding like bleeding gums may occur.

3. Chikungunya

It is a viral disease that comes with signs like high fever, rashes, nausea, fatigue, etc. Flu-like symptoms present themselves around 3 to 7 days after infection. Serious complications, which can involve the eyes, heart and gastrointestinal system, are generally rare. Most patients fully recover, but joint pain tends to persist.

4. Yellow fever

It is an acute viral disease that is characterized by symptoms like fever, headache, muscle pain, jaundice, nausea, fatigue, vomiting, etc.

5. Zika virus

It is a viral infection which basically occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Its common symptoms resemble dengue and Chikungunya, such as fever, headache, rashes, eye inflammation, muscle, and joint aches. What makes it a big concern is the complication of microcephaly, where the baby’s head is significantly smaller than the average as his neurological developments were interrupted during pregnancy. The other complication is the Guillain-Barré syndrome, where the immune system attacks your nerves. But fortunately, it is a rare condition. Some will have difficulty breathing as their heart muscles are affected. A rare few may be paralyzed or killed.

6. Elephantiasis

Also called Filariasis, it starts when mosquitoes infected with the roundworm larvae bite you. The tiny larvae survive in your bloodstream and grow. They finish maturing in your lymph system. They can live there for years and cause a lot of damage to your lymph system. This is what causes the swelling.

7. Malaria

It is caused by plasmodium and spread through female Anopheles mosquito. The diseases are characterized by symptoms like fever, impaired consciousness, respiratory distress, signs of anemia, etc. Malaria is the most common disease spread by Mosquito in India, especially in capital city Delhi. When you are bitten by a mosquito which is carrying malaria, the parasites will first travel to your liver and infect liver cells. They will take 7–10 days to incubate in your liver. During this time you technically have malaria, but you will feel no symptoms.

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After the malaria is done incubating in the liver, they will emerge to infect blood cells. It is during this emergence period that you feel the actual symptoms of malaria. The malaria parasites will take about two weeks to reproduce in blood cells, during which time you will be mostly asymptomatic, before emerging again. The cycle will repeat approximately every two weeks for as long as you remain infected.

Note that mosquito-borne diseases should NOT be used as a self-diagnosis list. Always consult a medical professional to properly examine your condition.