Mosquito-borne diseases are diseases caused by viruses or parasites transmitted by mosquitoes. They are dangerously increasing in prevalence geographical distribution and severity, representing a worldwide emerging threat for both humans and animals.
The period of feeding is often undetected because the bite only becomes obvious when the immune system is compromised. Mosquitoes feed on a variety of animals such as birds, reptiles, amphibians, rodents and other mammals including humans. However, diseases are spread through the bite of an infected mosquito and there are some species of wildlife affected by the mosquito-borne disease as well.
Viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes are Yellow Fever, Zika Fever, Dengue Fever and Chikungunya transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Others are West Nile Virus and Usutu Virus transmitted by Culex sp, Rift Valley fever, Filariasis, Tularemia, Dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever. etc.
Parasitic diseases like Helminthiasis and Myiasis. Mosquito is also a carrier of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium.
The significant signs and symptoms you would notice are Fever, Headache and Muscle aches, Diarrhea, Nausea and Vomiting, Rash, Tiredness, Arthralgia, Myalgia, Conjunctivitis.
As regards prevention and control of malaria borne diseases. It’s important to know some measures to take especially at night when they are very active.
- Use mosquito repellent to protect your skin from mosquito bites.
- Always sleep under the mosquito net for protection.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and thick socks when outdoor particularly at night or in a park, forest, or garden. You don’t want to mess with them. Lol
- Get rid of stagnant water at homes and environments as this serves as a breeding space for them to reproduce.
- Most importantly, get treated when you notice any of the signs and symptoms for proper medical care. No vaccine is available to cure malaria but we have a vaccine to cure yellow fever. Please take your health seriously.
It’s high time we stand together to fight these diseases taking over our land, our world. One Health should be at our fingertips, providing solutions to the next pandemic. When we protect our natural environments and their ecological properties, we help protect ourselves from mosquito-borne diseases – this is One Health in action. Together we can make the world a better place.