Using a reliable insect repellant can help protect you from deadly mosquito-borne diseases.
Guide to Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are seen flying everywhere. Over 3,500 kinds of mosquitoes are found all over the globe. Not all mosquitoes bite animals or people, but if they do, the most common reactions to the bite are swelling and itching. Some mosquitoes can be vectors. Vectors are ticks, insects, or animals that spread germs to animals and people, making you sick immediately. Some mosquitoes bite, but don’t spread germs. These are called nuisance mosquitoes.
What Are the Different Kinds of Mosquito-Borne Diseases?
Most people will only have mild symptoms from the Zika Virus, including red eyes, joint pain, rash, and a fever. The real danger is to pregnant women and their babies. It’s associated with a birth defect called microcephaly, which leads to brain damage and small heads. Zika virus is a huge problem in many parts of the globe, including Brazil and other places in South America, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean.
HOW TO AVOID ZIKA VIRUS
Keep yourself from this virus preventing mosquito bites both outdoors and indoors, especially at dusk and dawn when there’s high activity. You can:
- Use mosquito repellents but make sure to read the instructions on the product label
- Rest or sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms
- Use mosquito nets
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts
If you’ve just visited a Zika-affected area, you’re not allowed to donate blood until the risks of infection have passed, which is 28 days after returning.
Dengue is a common problem in Puerto Rico, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Latin America. If you catch it, you might experience mucosal bleeding, skin rashes, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, joint pains, intense headaches, and fevers. Often, it can also result in hemorrhagic fever, which can lead to death. In the United States, FDA-approved vaccines are only offered to children aged 9-16 who have already been exposed to one of the four dengue viruses. It was designed to prevent them from getting the disease again from one of the other viruses.
HOW TO AVOID DENGUE
One of the best ways to avoid getting infected by Dengue is by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. You can do that by preventing mosquito breeding outside and inside your homes. Make sure to avoid areas with standing water, especially during dusk and dawn. Lastly, you should also avoid visiting areas prone to mosquito-borne diseases. If you’re living in a mosquito-infested area, then you should use mosquito repellents or wear long pants to cover your legs and arms. If things get worse, call a qualified exterminator from your community.
West Nile Virus
You won’t probably experience any symptoms if you get a bite from a mosquito that’s carrying the West Nile Virus; however, other people may experience skin rashes, diarrhea, joint pain, and fever. You also have to look out for rare complications from this virus, including meningitis and encephalitis. As of now, there’s still no available vaccine for the West Nile Virus.
HOW TO AVOID WEST NILE VIRUS
Overall prevention depends on the screening of organ donors and blood, personal preventive measures to decrease exposure to infected mosquitoes, and community-level mosquito treatment programs to minimize vector densities. You can protect yourself by using quality mosquito repellents, not going outside during dusk and dawn, and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Using air conditioners, reducing mosquito breeding sites, installing door and window screens, and calling someone that specializes in pest control can further prevent West Nile.
Malaria is a common problem in South Asia, South America, and sub-Saharan Africa. If you get infected, you may experience vomiting, chills, headaches, and fever. If you’re traveling to an area where it’s a huge problem, then use mosquito nets that are treated with insecticide and take anti-malaria medicines.
HOW TO AVOID MALARIA
To protect yourself, stay in a place with effective screening and air conditioning, but if you can’t find one, make sure to close the windows and doors properly. Use insect repellents and reapply them frequently. Your best bet is using repellents that contain diethyltoluamide (DEET), which may come in sprays, creams, roll-ons, and sticks. Because there aren’t available treatments for most of these mosquito-borne diseases and only a few particular vaccines are available to prevent them, the best thing you can do is to avoid getting bitten.
Who is at Risk of these Diseases and How Can You Prevent Them?
You’ll always be at risk of mosquito bites if you visit high-risk countries. Different species of mosquitoes spread different diseases, are most active at different times, and are found in different locations. The danger you may experience depends on the time of day, season, the kind of habitat at the site, and where you’re traveling to.
Who is at Risk?
- Healthcare workers who handle potentially infectious patients. Transmission can occur through a sharp penetration or a tear in their skin.
- Laboratory workers who work with potentially infected arthropods, cultures, or samples.
- Business travelers who travel to areas with mosquito-borne diseases
- Outdoor workers
- People who live near areas with stagnant water
- People who like to travel
Preventing Mosquito Bites
- Get rid of standing water near your home
- Keep mosquitoes outside.
- Use mosquito repellent.
- Wear light-colored clothing, especially outdoors.
- Stay indoors during dawn and dusk.
- Make yourself less appealing.
- Try using a natural repellent.
What to Do Before Going to Countries with High Risk of Mosquito-Borne Diseases
|Do your research.||Do your research. You can use the same precautions at home to protect yourself against mosquito bites. When visiting tropical countries, your chances of being infected are much higher, and the disease can be more dangerous to your health.|
|Take the necessary precautions.||Depending on the place you’re visiting, you might want to use mosquito nets. In the case of Malaria, this mosquito-borne disease is rare in the US but is common in other parts of the world. Today, there are preventing drugs you can take before visiting another country. Talk to your doctor to pick the best course of action for your family.|
|Bring insect repellents with you.||Use insect repellents when outdoors. Make sure it contains the chemical DEET. You have to read the instructions carefully before you start applying the product. Apply the repellent on exposed skin but not on the skin under your clothes. Lastly, apply a small amount of repellent on your face to protect that area from mosquito bites.|
Worried that you or someone you know will get bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito? If so, contact PestGuide.org today to know the steps in eliminating mosquito infestations.
Need Help with a Mosquito Infestation?
Dealing with mosquito infestation is a difficult and sometimes time-consuming task. If you need professional help or you need to know more about mosquitoes, don’t hesitate to contact Pest Guide today. We offer different options in dealing with these pesky pests, and we can help in preventing future infestations.
FAQs on Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes
Frequently Asked Questions
You should take as many precautionary measures as possible to protect yourself from being bitten by infected mosquitoes. Mosquito bites can happen at any time. Many mosquitoes are active between dusk and dawn, but some are more active during the daytime. You have different ways to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes.
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect the exposed areas of your skin. Mosquitoes are usually attracted to darker colors, so it’s best to wear something with lighter colors.
- If possible, avoid visiting mosquito-prone areas. If you can’t, avoid being outdoors when they’re most active to avoid getting bitten.
- Make sure to stay in a place that uses insect repellents and screens over the doors and windows, as well as nets over the beds.
- Make sure to use mosquito nets if you’re camping.
- Treat your nets and clothes with an insect repellent that contains permethrin. Permethrin is a chemical that paralyzes and kills mosquitoes when they come into contact with it. You can also buy clothes that have been pre-treated with permethrin, but be careful! Don’t let the chemical touch your mouth and eyes. Likewise, don’t use the repellent designed for fabrics as an alternative personal repellent on your skin.
- On your skin, use insect repellents that contain picaridin and DEET. Both don’t kill mosquitoes but stop from being able to bite you. Use insect repellents for the exposed areas of your areas and remember to wash your hands after applying them.
Be careful with children! You should apply the repellent to your children, instead of letting them apply their own. Don’t put the repellent on areas near their reach.
Be cautious of potential breeding grounds around your house, especially if you’re from the northern parts of Australia. Doing that can protect you against mosquito-borne diseases. You can also follow the following measures.
- Determine the places on your property where rainwater may stay. Empty plant trays, invert and tip over wheelbarrows and buckets, and get rid of any empty containers.
- Use screens for the septic tank vents and rainwater tanks and clean blocked gutters.
- Maintain your pool and drain the areas nearby where water collects.
All About Pests | Guides, Info, Images and Tips