Image Source: iDNES

Every year, world mosquito day is celebrated to highlight the terrors and to create awareness about the diseases caused by mosquitoes. The knowledge regarding mosquito-borne conditions is still fundamental since many diseases caused by mosquitoes are prevalent in many parts of the world to date. Mosquitoes are responsible for infecting millions every year and diseases like Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya, Yellow Fever, and Zika virus are the most common ones that affect travelers.

At the same time, other diseases caused by mosquitoes are solely dependent on the geographical distribution of the disease. The introduction of an infection caused by a mosquito depends on a competent vector, appropriate bioclimatic conditions and access to other humans.

Diseases Caused By Mosquitoes 

In Pakistan, Malaria, Dengue, Chikungunya are some of the most common diseases spread by mosquitoes. However, other prevalent diseases all around the world including are;

  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue fever
  • Eastern and Western equine encephalitis
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • La Crosse encephalitis
  • Malaria
  • St. Louis encephalitis
  • West Nile virus
  • Yellow fever
  • Zika virus

Malaria 

Image Source: Quartz

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by the transmission of a parasite. The Female Anopheles mosquito is the species that is responsible for transmitting the virus. Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, as well as Central and South America are some of the most affected countries by Malaria.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

Dengue 

Image Source: CDC

In Pakistan, dengue was solely responsible for causing the endemic crisis in 2010. Dengue is endemic in Pakistan, with seasonal outbreaks every year. According to WHO, dengue is the most widely spreading disease caused by mosquitoes in the world. Aedes aegypti is the species of mosquito responsible for the transmission of the disease. This mosquito bites during the day around sunrise and sunset.

Symptoms

  • High fever
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Rash

Chikungunya

Image Source: Marham

Chikungunya became prevalent in Pakistan a few years ago after it caused a massive outbreak in India in 2016, which then moved on to affect around 30,000 individuals in Karachi. It is a virus transmitted among humans by an Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. Chikungunya causes symptoms similar to those of Zika virus and dengue and hence can lead to misdiagnosis in those regions where the disease is prevalent.

Symptoms:

  • Sudden-onset fever
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

Yellow Fever 

Image Source: Medical News Today

Unlike other diseases caused by mosquitos, Yellow Fever is a virus of relatively short duration. The transmission takes place primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The term Yellow refers to the appearance of Jaundice which might be a symptom in some patients. This disease claims nearly 30,000 lives around the world every year along with millions of people getting infected.

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Jaundice
  • Back pain
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting

Zika Virus 

Image Source: NDTV

Zika fever is caused by the Zika virus. This virus is a major threat to pregnant women since infection can lead to severe birth defects in children. The most notable of these conditions are microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which can cause life-long disabilities.

Symptoms

  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Rash
  • Fever

How To Stay Safe? 

  1. Try keeping the doors and windows shut and get rid of any broken screens.
  2. When at-risk wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks outdoors to prevent mosquito bites.
  3. Use mosquito repellent sprays and lotions.
  4. Get rid of any water which can be a breeding ground for mosquito eggs.
  5. If you live or travel to places where mosquito-borne diseases are found consult your doctor for vaccines.

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