A shrill buzzing sound followed by the itch- and this itch isn’t like any other itch; it is annoying, warm and you will see a bump immediately after/during the itch. What you don’t realize is that you only get the itch after the mosquito has bitten and sucked your blood.
The female mosquitoes need your blood for them to lay their eggs and produce more little mosquitoes. Therefore, a male mosquito hardly ever bites. The downside of this one-way relationship is that the mosquitoes are not faithful and they will have bitten someone else or an animal before you. Therefore, whatever their previous victim had will get to you. In a nutshell, that is how they cause diseases. Some of the diseases caused include:
- Zika virus
You have probably heard about Zika from the CDC in the local and international news. The disease first reported in Brazil, Puerto Rico, and other Central America countries. Unfortunately, many people were infected, affected and killed by the disease.
Doctors and researchers are spending sleepless nights trying to understand the molecular and genetic systems at work in the virus to provide a cure. Zika presents as joint pains, conjunctivitis, and a rash and/or fever after a bite by the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes aegyptus or Aedes aldopictus. Its effects are transferred to unborn fetuses, and the children are then born with congenital defects. Therefore, pregnant women are advised against travelling to regions that have reported the mosquito breed.
This disease isn’t fatal but it causes extreme and debilitating joint pains. Recovery is expected within a week in most cases. There have been outbreaks in Africa, Europe, Asia, and across Pacific and Indian oceans. There have been reports of the disease in American countries as well. For protection, take the prudent move of talking to your healthcare provider as well as packing mosquito repellants when travelling to countries with reported Chikungunya cases.
- Dengue fever
Just like the two diseases mentioned above, Asian tiger mosquito is responsible for dengue fever cases reported in New Jersey and other parts of the world. This is a fatal disease and protection is very important, especially in the tropics. New Jersey Mosquito Control has come up with chemical, environmental and biological measures to control mosquito spread.
Early diagnosis and subsequent management are important to save lives because there is no medication or a vaccine for the disease. This is the case for Chikungunya and Zika virus.
It is caused by an anopheles mosquito with numerous cases reported in Sub-Saharan Africa, America, and South Asia. Fortunately, there are few fatal deaths from the disease because of preventive and treatment drugs available.
- West Nile Virus
There are few fatal cases of this disease reported. About 1% of the infections result in neurological problems and death. Culex mosquitoes are responsible for thespread of the disease from insects to humans and insects, with all humans and other mammals being the dead-end hosts. Transmission is also possible through blood transfusions, laboratory exposure, organ transplant and/or mother-child transmission at birth or when breastfeeding.
In conclusion, most of these diseases are preventable. The best possible control or prevention strategy is getting rid of stagnant water, cutting grass and bushes, chemical and biological treatments, use of pesticides and repellants, and sleeping under treated nets.