Mosquitoes are undoubtedly one of the most irritating and dangerous animals in the world. They suck the human blood and transmit life-threatening viruses, bacteria, and parasites among the mass population. Moreover, they also carry and spread diseases that result in millions of deaths on an annual basis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), almost 750,000 people die each year as a result of mosquito-borne diseases. Since more than half of the world’s population resides in areas where mosquito species are present, the number of casualties and risk of the respective diseases remains a global issue.
Let us now look at some of the most prevalent mosquito-borne diseases:
Dengue is one of the most common diseases induced by mosquitoes. It is caused by the dengue virus which is transmitted to humans by female mosquitoes of the species Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus. High fever, severe headache, bone and muscle pain, and mild bleeding from the gums and nose are some of the common symptoms associated with dengue fever. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of dengue has dramatically increased in recent decades. It is estimated that almost 390 million dengue infections are detected each year and almost 3.9 billion people in 128 countries share the risk of dengue virus infection.
Malaria is one of the most fatal diseases that is responsible for more than half of the mosquito-related deaths in the world. It is caused by a parasite known as Plasmodium (multiplies in the liver and affects RBCs)that is transmitted to humans via bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes. According to a report by the WHO, more than 200 million cases of malaria are reported each year and the disease resulted in almost 435,000 deaths in the year 2017. However, the prevalence of the disease is on a decline as incidents of malaria reduced by almost 37% between 2000 and 2015 (WHO).
Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to humans by the bites of infected Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus. A report by WHO suggests that the proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitations is the most significant risk factor associated with the disease. According to medical experts at the top pharmaceutical companies, the disease primarily results in severe and acute joint pain. Furthermore, even after continuous efforts of pharma companies, there is no known cure or vaccination for Chikungunya.
Zika fever is another mosquito-borne disease caused by the Aedes species. It was initially identified in the monkeys of Uganda in 1947 and later in humans in 1952. The infection entered the Indian boundaries in 2018 with the first case confirmed on 21st September in Jaipur, Rajasthan by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent the virus.
Almost all the above-mentioned mosquito-borne diseases manifest symptoms like high (or mild) fever, muscle and bone pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Though some of the symptoms can be normalized with the help of medications and pharmaceutical products, it is still essential for patients to seek medical help at the earliest.