Even though I love summers, there is a big con against it – the surge in mosquitoes. At least in winters, we find respite from them. Now, if you are pondering that no one likes mosquitoes, what’s different about my abhorrence for them, is the numbers of diseases they spread. If you are under the impression that these distant relatives of vampires are responsible for spreading malaria and dengue, then you have another thing coming. These mosquitoes are responsible for many other problems:
Chikungunya: This is a viral disease caused by the bite of Aedes Aegypti. This disease is not fatal, however, causes severe joint pain and can cause partial deformity. The symptoms show themselves within a week, including high fever, swelling, and pain in joints, headache, nausea. A blood test is a way to confirm it for diagnosis. There is no specific treatment for the disease or vaccine for it. However, the symptoms can be treated with medicines.
Zika Virus: Till last year, this wasn’t on our list. But since it was reported last year in India, this puts it on our list. This is caused by the same mosquito that causes chikungunya, and dengue. The symptoms are the same as rashes, fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea and so on. You get the drift. Zika is tested through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test. There is no vaccine or treatment specifically designed for it.
Filariasis: This is also known as Elephantiasis, caused by worms, transmitted by mosquitoes. It causes disfiguration and immense amounts of pain. It causes long-term damage to lymphatic symptoms, also increases the risk of bacterial infections. Thankfully, this comes in the rare category and is treatable. But it is asymptomatic, so, the initial diagnosis is a little difficult, however, it can be done with a blood test specifically at night. Also, the specifically designed ICT filariasis test.
Japanese Encephalitis: This is another of the infection spread by mosquitoes. This causes swelling of the brain. In some cases, it may cause inflammation of the brain, headache, fever, nausea and even seizures. It is treatable. Also, there is a vaccine available against it. The diagnosis involves a blood test and cerebrospinal fluid testing.
Yellow Fever: Although, this illness is mostly attributed to African regions, however, there are slim but chances of this infection in our country as well. This disease can go from being mild to dangerous, leading to internal bleeding and death. The disease isn’t curable but can be treated, mostly for managing pain and fever. Still, the silver lining is available in the form of vaccination against this foe.
Now, if these 5 more reasons aren’t enough to ensure we follow adequate measures to safeguard ourselves against mosquito bites, I am not sure what else will do the trick. Maybe knowing that the mosquitoes can carry around the infection that they so greatly spread without one suffering any effect themselves, whatsoever at all would help.
Still, I suggest wearing clothes covering bodies, using mosquito repellent, nets and ensuring storage of water with proper means as to avoid breeding ground for mosquitoes, these are a few tips we can follow as preventive care. That is your armour against this insect from hell.