Mosquitoes, small pesky insects that bother most of the people around the planet, especially during the summertime. Unfortunately, they are able to spread diseases to humans really easily and cause hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Here are the diseases which prove to be the most difficult to handle because of mosquitoes.
There is still no bulletproof vaccine for this disease spread by mosquitoes. Tropical areas are the best ground for creating epidemics because this type of mosquito needs high temperature and very moist areas. The Anopheles mosquito is the one responsible for transmitting a parasite that goes by the name Plasmodium. The male specimens do not sting, it is the females that do the bloodsucking.
Half a million people die every year because of malaria, and most of them are children. Once infected, malaria first appears with flu-like symptoms: headaches, heat swells, and pain in the limbs. However, as it develops, it causes serious damage to people’s nervous systems.
West Nile Fever
This disease is a dangerous one, more so for the elder part of the population, because it causes meningitis and myocarditis (inflammation of our heart muscle). There is still no successful vaccine option for this mosquito-transmitted disease.
This type of virus is spread by mosquitoes in many African and Asian countries, as well as some parts of the US and Canada. It has also shown presence in southeastern parts of Europe, Italy, Greece, and even France. If you get infected, there is only one in five chance that you’ll develop symptoms. West Nile Fever manifests through shaking coupled with a very high fever, which is followed by a severe skin rash.
This infection is spread by two types of mosquitoes. The first species is known as the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), and the other one goes by Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). These two species are found in both South and Central America, Florida, and Texas. Many parts of Southeast Asia are also in danger, as well as the tropical regions in Africa.
This infection proves to be the most dangerous for newborns. If pregnant women are infected during the first trimester, there is a high chance of Zika virus affecting the child. Children are born with a condition known as microcephaly, which manifests with the skull not growing large, which causes many mental issues. The Zika virus is not dangerous for adults, but the effective vaccine to prevent microcephaly in newborns does not exist.
Mosquitoes that transmit a disease called leishmaniasis are dangerous for both animals, dogs primarily, and humans. The disease is mostly found in the countries around the Mediterranean Sea. Still, there have been reports of leishmaniasis in Germany as well. Leishmaniasis affects close to 12 million people each year, and it can lead to death if not treated quickly.
Like many of the other mosquito-transmitted diseases, this one starts with a fever too. The person infected feels weak like it would with the flu, and an immediate weight loss can happen. If not treated, leishmaniasis attacks our breathing system, nose, and throat area primarily. It can destroy the tissue and create holes in our nasal septum, and it can even spread to other internal organs like liver and spleen. There is no vaccine to prevent this, but the available cures are very effective if treated at the right time.
We mentioned Aedes aegypti before as the mosquito species that spread the Zika virus. This bloodsucker can also carry a disease called Dengue fever. This virus is found all across the world, but mostly in Southeast Asia and the northern parts of Australia. It is also present in both Central and South America, and some southern parts of the United States.
It is estimated that close to 100 million people get infected with Dengue fever each year. There is a vaccine that works, but it comes with certain restrictions when it can be used because it is so powerful that it can lead to death. The Dengue fever manifests through, once again, very high fever and severe joint pain and headaches. One thing dangerous about this infection is that it is hazardous if you get it the second time when it can cause internal bleeding known as Dengue shock syndrome.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
Your MLA Citation
Your APA Citation
Your Chicago Citation
Your Harvard CitationRemember to italicize the title of this article in your Harvard citation.