World Mosquito Day: 5 of the deadliest diseases spread by mosquitoes

Hindustan Times | By
Aug 20, 2018 09:50 AM IST

World Mosquito Day is a celebration of British doctor Sir Ronald Ross’ discovery that female mosquitoes were responsible for transmitting the malarial parasite. Here are 5 deadly diseases caused by mosquito bites.

World Mosquito Day is observed on August 20 to commemorate British doctor Sir Ronald Ross’ 1897 discovery that female mosquitoes transmit malaria to humans. A tiny bite is all it takes to make you fall ill from life-threatening diseases. Here are 5 of the deadliest diseases that are spread by mosquitoes:

World Mosquito Day 2018: Here are 5 deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes.(Shutterstock)
World Mosquito Day 2018: Here are 5 deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes.(Shutterstock)

* Malaria
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted through bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. Some of the best ways to prevent malaria include insecticide treated mosquito nets, indoor spraying with insecticides and antimalarial drugs. Quinine is a medication used to treat malaria.

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* Dengue
Dengue infection causes flu-like illness. World Health Organization (WHO) says the global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically over the recent decades and about half of the world’s population is at risk.Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climates and mostly in urban areas.While there is no specific treatment for dengue, early detection lower fatality rates.

* Zika virus

Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, which bite during the day. Symptoms are mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, or headache, which last for 2 to 7 days. What complicates the matter is that most people do not develop symptoms. If contracted during pregnancy, it can cause infants to be born with microcephaly and other congenital malformations, known as congenital Zika syndrome. It can also cause preterm birth and miscarriage.

* Chikungunya

Chikungunya spreads through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also causes dengue. Symptoms include headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting, and muscle pain. Acute infection can last for a few weeks.

* Yellow fever

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice (hence the name ‘yellow’ fever), muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue. A small proportion of patients who contract the virus develop severe symptoms, and half of those die could die within 7 to 10 days. Epidemics of yellow fever occur when infected people introduce the virus to areas with high mosquito density and where people have little or no immunity due to lack of vaccination.

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    Soma is an Assistant Editor for the weekend supplement HT 48 Hours. She writes on lifestyle, art and culture.

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