While mosquito bites are most often characterized by an itchy red bump on your skin, there are instances when things can get much worse. In fact, there is a long list of mosquito-borne diseases that are characterized by various symptoms, including fever, headaches, body aches, and fatigue. In severe cases, these diseases can even result in brain inflammation (otherwise known as encephalitis), coma, and eventually death. Moreover, the problem isn’t confined to one or two corners of the world. Mosquito-borne diseases are considered a global concern. But like most problems, finding your way to a solution often requires gathering the right information first. So, to help you out, here are some of the most common ways that mosquitoes can get you sick:
1. Dengue Fever
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400 million people are infected by dengue fever every year. Most of these cases happen in South America and other tropical regions, but the US still has its fair share. Out of these 400 million people, around 22 thousand cases result in fatalities.
Symptoms of dengue fever include rashes, headaches, body aches, and high fevers. Complications that develop from the disease can easily become fatal, if left untreated.
By 2085, experts expect the disease to affect around 5 billion individuals. Moreover, there is currently no vaccine to counteract dengue fever. All you can do for now is avoid mosquito bites and dengue hotspots.
2. West Nile Fever
The West Nile virus was discovered in Uganda way back in the 1930’s. However, the first documented case in the US was in the summer of 1999 in New York. But despite being relatively new to the US scene, West Nile is considered by many experts to be the most common mosquito-borne disease in the US today.
The scary thing about West Nile is that 70 to 80 percent of the people infected with it exhibit no symptoms at all. But those who do experience symptoms can expect the following: headaches, body aches, appetite loss, vomiting, fatigue, nausea, and fever. Since its discovery, there have been over 1,700 West Nile fatalities in the US alone. These deaths are commonly attributed nervous system complications, such as meningitis and encephalitis.
3. Yellow Fever
Because of readily available vaccines, yellow fever is relatively uncommon in the US. However, the disease is still a major issue in other parts of the world, such as Africa and South America. Symptoms of the disease include headaches, body aches, fever, and chills. If left untreated, these symptoms could cause organ failure and eventual death.