Mosquito Borne Diseases Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment
There is no specific medication and vaccination available for most of the mosquito borne diseases, dealing with them by taking special precautions to avoid being bitten, especially in the monsoon season, is the only way left that includes personal protection, community level efforts and mosquito control as the collected rain water is the best place and time for the mosquitoes to breed.
Certain preventive measures to stay away from the mosquito bites:
- When outdoor use mosquito repellent, but do not spray on the covered area or under the cloth and read the label instruction properly before using the repellent.
- Wear protective clothes such as long pants or trousers, socks and a full sleeved shirt that covers all the body.
- If you want to take short sleep or prolong sleep four hours use mosquito nets in the daytime as well as in the night.
- Make your home mosquito proof by installing or using screened doors and windows or keep doors and windows closed if they are without screens.
- Clean, cover or empty the water filled things or areas or standing water around your home, pots, cooler, buckets, tanks, drums, used tyres, gutters, pooled water, toilets etc. on a regular basis because these can be the possible mosquito breeding sites and don’t forget to throw out unnecessary items that hold water.
- Give special care and attention to the sick, elderly and children as they may be unable to look after themselves properly.
- Take all of the above precautions to protect from mosquito bites if you are travelling to the disease affected place or area.
- Support government efforts to get rid of mosquitoes and contact them for the fumigation in your locality if there is no such type of activity has been done previously.
- If possible, avoid outdoor activities during the time of epidemic.
Symptoms and treatment for some of the well known mosquito borne diseases:
Find out and know more about some of the mosquito borne diseases which are frequently spreading globally from time to time.
Chikungunya – Symptoms and Treatment
The mosquitoes that carry the Chikungunya virus, bites most of the time during the day and the infected person can develop some symptoms such as high fever, joint or muscle pain, Joint swelling, extreme weakness, headache and rashes.
Treatment – There is no vaccine exist to prevent or treat Chikungunya. Fever and pain can be treated only with common medicines and there is no effective antiviral treatment as well, take plenty of rest and drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration.
Chikungunya is rarely fatal it runs for the limited time and a patient may recover within a week, but the symptoms can be disabling and severe, even the joint pain may persist for a long time or months.
Dengue – Symptoms and Treatment
Be sure to take special precaution during early morning to daybreak and late afternoon to till evening time because Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day. The leading symptoms of dengue are: Headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle or bone or joint pain, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, low platelet count, low blood pressure, mild bleeding (nose or gum bleeds), small red or purple spots on the skin or easy bruising, pale and cold skin, difficulty breathing, drowsiness and abdominal pain.
Fever may decline after 3 or 7 days and you may feel like you are recovering from the dengue fever, but the patient may suddenly develop severe symptoms listed above (low platelet count, low B.P, mild bleeding, pale and cold skin and abdominal pain) these could be symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) which often result in death.
Immediately seek medical help because dengue hemorrhagic fever generally requires fluid replacement therapy and hospitalization.
Treatment – Dengue vaccine is under the process of development and there is no specific medication for treatment of infection. Get rest, drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and consult a physician.
Zika – Symptoms and Treatment
Zika is another recent mosquito borne illness spread by the Aedes species that is active mostly during the daytime. The symptoms are similar to dengue, and include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise and headache. These symptoms are mostly mild in nature and do not last for the long time. Zika virus causes brief flu like illness, but the virus can cause birth defects, including abnormally small head (microcephaly) and other neurological complications to the fetus.
Treatment – There is currently no vaccine available and Zika virus disease requires no specific treatment. People infected with this virus should take rest and hydrate well. If symptoms worsen, seek medical care and advice.
Malaria – Symptoms and Treatment
Malaria is another well-known serious disease and sometimes can be fatal. It spread by the parasite infected mosquitoes. The illness shows flu-like symptoms that include high fever and chills, mosquito usually bites at night hours. Common symptoms of malaria include shaking chills, high fever, profuse sweating, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, bloody stools, muscle pain, convulsions and coma.
Treatment – Sadly there is no vaccine available for malaria, it can only be cured with prescription medicines. If malaria is not treated timely it can cause life-threatening complications such as fluid accumulation, breathing problem, pulmonary edema, organ failure and anemia. Seek immediate medical advice if you have any malaria symptoms.
Filariasis – Symptoms and Treatment
Filariasis or elephantiasis is the serious disease that is passed to people through the bites of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes that carry microscopic roundworms mostly bite between the time of dusk or dawn. This disease may cause serious symptoms like abnormal enlarged body parts (e.g. legs like an elephant), pain, disability, altered lymphatic system, swelling, inflammation of lymph nodes and recurrent fever with chills and the lots of social stigma too.
Treatment – No vaccine is available and the treatment includes medication to stop the young roundworms, exercise to improve lymph flow, bed rest and treating the swelling and pain. Sometimes antibiotic, hospitalization and surgery is needed against severe infection.
Japanese Encephalitis – Symptoms and Treatment
Japanese Encephalitis virus is transmitted to humans through the infected mosquito bite that can cause Encephalitis or inflammation of the brain especially in children. Infected people develop mild symptoms such as chills, fever, sore throat, headache, nausea, fatigue and vomiting, but the disease may progress to the brain and in this case seizures, coma and paralysis may occur.
Treatment – Thankfully vaccine is available, but no specific treatment is there. Hospitalization, IV fluids and respiratory support are needed for severe cases so do not try to treat yourself always see a doctor for the complete recovery.
Yellow Fever – Symptoms and Treatment
Yellow fever is another acute viral infection spread by infected mosquito bite. It can damage the internal organs, especially liver and can be potentially fatal. It shows very mild symptoms such as headache, sudden fever, backache, nausea and vomiting, but the symptoms may get worse if not treated well, that include jaundice, shock, organ failure and bleeding.
Treatment – Safe and affordable yellow fever vaccine are available and the treatment is just a common medication to reduce pain and fever along with proper rest and enough fluid intake.
West Nile Fever – Symptoms and Treatment
This disease mainly spread through infected mosquitoes and infected people may develop fever and other symptoms such as body aches, joint pains, headache, convulsions, rashes, swollen lymph glands, vomiting and unusual severe form can cause permanent damage to the brain, but in some rare cases only.
Treatment – No vaccine and no specific treatment is available till now, except common medication and in severe cases patients often need to be hospitalized to receive intravenous fluids, pain medication and nursing care.
Lastly, be informed and aware about the diseases spreading through the mosquitoes and at the same time avoid mosquito bites because the threat of mosquito borne diseases is increasing around the globe with extremely fast pace, infecting millions of people and causing large scale death each year.