Are you aware? Mosquito-borne diseases tend to spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Furthermore, conditions that are spread to people via mosquitoes are namely chikungunya, dengue fever, malarial fever and rarely seen infections like yellow fever and Zika virus disease. Yes, you have heard it right! To top it all, monsoon has already begun, and Chikungunya, dengue, and malaria will be on the rise now. Read on to know about this, and stay fit and fine. Do you notice symptoms such as high-grade fever-with chills, joint pains, myalgia, headaches associated with fever then you might be suffering from dengue, malaria, or chikungunya? Some of these agents, causing malaria, chikungunya has resulted in illnesses in people for many years, and rare infection like Zika Virus have been spotted recently only.
Did you know? Urbanization, travel, and population growth are the factors that have increased the potential for mosquitoes to breed and hence cause disease on a large scale. People working outdoors, travelling to areas with mosquito-borne diseases, those people working in laboratories with infected samples from any mosquito-borne conditions, and also healthcare workers who take care of the patients who are infected with mosquito-borne infections may get infected as transmission can occur via broken skin or even sharp injury on the body. Thus, one should be vigilant and take enough care to lead a healthy life. How common these illnesses depend on where people live or travel, and at what time of the year.
Also Read: Know About Skeeter Syndrome: Allergic Reaction To Mosquito Bites
Below we describe the common diseases in brief
- Dengue fever: One may suffer from this mosquito-borne disease because of the dengue virus. One may exhibit symptoms after three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, joint pain, vomiting, muscle, and joint pains, and even skin rash. The recovery period may take two to seven days. Dengue can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids, staying hydrated, and avoiding dehydration. In case the fever doesn’t go then the patient will have to be admitted to the hospital and seek treatment.
- Symptoms: It may include fever, fatigue, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash. In most cases, a patient's condition will improve within a week. However, occasionally that nagging joint pain may last for months or even years. Chikungunya has some similar signs with Zika and dengue, leading to misdiagnosis of it as the symptoms tend to overlap. Hence, a thorough diagnosis is needed for the same. Do not ignore the signs. Instead, seek immediate medical attention.
- Treatment: The treatment includes drinking a lot of fluids, staying hydrated by drinking enough water, taking medications only recommended by the doctor and following a well-balanced diet. Antimalarial drugs and others to manage fever can be given to the patients suffering from malaria.
Follow these preventive measures and stay fit and fine
- You must opt for screens on doors and windows, and do not forget to repair broken or damaged screens, right away. Keep unscreened doors, and windows shut as the mosquitoes won’t be able to enter the house.
- You must use mosquito netting over beds without fail, especially if there are children at home.
- Limit time outside around early morning or evening, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Don't give mosquitoes places to breed.
- Vaccines can prevent some mosquito-borne illnesses such as dengue.
Takeaway: Severe cases of mosquito-borne diseases can cause death. So, do not neglect your symptoms. Seek timely treatment and lead a healthy life.
(The article has been medically reviewed by Dr. Vikrant Shah, consulting physician, intensivist and infectious disease specialist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital Chembur)
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