Mosquitoes are the cause of itching, red, annoying bites. They buzz in your ears while you are trying to grill-out in the back yard and annoy the kids and pets while a day at the park or lake. These biting pests are not only nuisances, they are disease ridden critters that can cause you and your family to do more than just scratch.
Some of the most common diseases spread by mosquitoes are Malaria, West Nile Virus, Ross, River Virus, Barmah Forest Virus, Murray Valley encephalitis, Dengue fever, and even Japanese encephalitis.
The only protection from these mosquito presented diseases is to avoid mosquitoe bites all together.
Malaria is by far the most commonly contracted disease via mosquitos. Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is directly transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting. These appear within 10-15 days of the mosquito bite. If left untreated malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to the bodies vital organs. The best way to control malaria once contracted is to receive prompt treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies.
West Nile virus is a potentially serious illness. WNV is said to be a seasonal illness within North America that begins to flare in the summer and remains into the fall. WNV is contracted through mosquito bite and is generally spotted within 3-14 days after bite. Mosquitos generally become infected after biting infected birds. 80% of infected people will not show any symptoms at all. 20% show mild symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and disorientation. But only 1 in 150 people have severe symptoms such as loss of vision, coma, tremors, and convulsions. WNV has no specific treatment. In people with milder symptoms it is usually passed on in time on its own. In more severe cases intravenous treatments will be required from a hospital.
Ross River virus is also contracted via mosquito bites. Symptoms include fever, mild rash, joint pain, and arthritis-like symptoms. This is sometimes misdiagnosed as rubella, hepatitis-B, Barmah forest virus, dengue and rheumatoid arthritis. With so many misdiagnosed cases it is hard to properly label in most cases. When found out to be Ross River the resolution can be made in up to 2-4 weeks with bed rest and analgesics.
With so many harmful diseases and illness’ that can be contracted from mosquito bites it seems the best route is to prevent the bites from occurring. There are many options for proper prevention. Keep yourself, your family, and your pets safe. Prevention is the key to safety.