Perils of Mosquito Bites

Only female mosquitoes bite. This is just one of the many things that most people don’t know about mosquitoes. Another thing that people should be aware of is that mosquito bites don’t only cause itchiness, bumps and redness.

A mosquito bite actually causes numerous kinds of fatal diseases. In fact, it has killed millions of people not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world like Africa, Asia and South America. This is because these tiny little insects carry a good amount of viruses and parasites.

Some of the deadly diseases brought about by mosquitos include the following:

West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is acquired by mosquitoes when they bite infected birds. They then spread the virus by biting people or animals. This virus can also be spread through blood transfusion or organ transplant operation. The scary thing about this virus is that most of the people who are infected by it do not have any symptoms until the disease becomes severe and potentially fatal. In rare cases, this virus causes encephalitis (swelling of the brain), myelitis (swelling of the spinal cord), and meningitis (swelling of brain and spinal cord tissues). Most of the time, the disease is cured but it may cause permanent damage through seizures and memory loss.

Malaria, which is common in Central and South America, Africa, Asia and South Pacific, can cause high fever, severe body aches, damage to the heart/lungs/brain/kidneys, coma and even death. Malaria is brought by a mosquito infected with germs called parasites. This is usually diagnosed through a blood test that will check the presence of malaria parasite in the blood.

Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease caused by an Aesdes mosquito carrying dengue viruses, related to those that bring yellow fever and West Nile infection. This infection has high incidence in Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, the Pacific Islands, some parts of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Africa. Symptoms of this include sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, bleeding, and joint/muscle pains. Dengue can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can damage blood vessels and the lymph. It can also cause enlargement of the liver, circulatory system failure, massive bleeding, and the dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

Yellow Fever
Yellow fever, meanwhile, is a viral infection that can damage several organs in the body including the liver, heart, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms would include jaundice, sudden fever and hemorrhage. Occurring mostly in South America, Africa and Caribbean Islands, it is more common during summer when the mosquito population is high.

Protect yourself from the deadly perils of mosquito bites by removing possible breeding areas in your home. Mosquitoes thrive best in shallow and stagnant waters. It is also a must to use insect repellents and traps especially during summer. See to it that you don’t go out during dusk or dawn as this is the prime time for mosquito activities.

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