MOSQUITOES AND ASSOCIATED DISEASES
MOSQUITOES AND ASSOCIATED DISEASES – DISEASES KNOWN TO BE TRANSMITTED BY MOSQUITOES
No animal or insect kills larger than mosquitoes globally. However, the spread and impact of diseases transmitted via mosquito bite varies significantly globally. As an example, the prominence of diseases transmitted via mosquito bites in countries with significant development is less than their prominence in less developed areas where they are more prevalent. Some of the diseases transmitted by mosquito common in the Northern parts of the United States. They include:
The Aedes mosquito is responsible for the spreading this virus to humans. A successful transmission of this virus is announced for about two days or a week by pain in the joints, rashes, conjunctivitis and fever. These symptoms sometimes do not require serious medical attention.
Although most symptoms are not very serious, health personnel are weighing the chances that they might be related to severe complications. Guillian-Barre syndrome (an uncommon disorder of the immune system) as well as microcephaly (a birth defect in newborns) was reported after the initial confirmed cases of the virus in Brazil.
Evidence provided by the PAHO (Pan American Health Organization) backs up the link between these deformities and Zika virus.
CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS (CV)
Chikungunya virus, is primarily a native of Asia and Africa. It is also found in some parts of and coasts along the Pacific and Indian oceans. It has been categorized by health personnel as a growing infectious disease. The US has since 2006 reported a yearly number of 28 cases on the average. Every victim was either returning from a trip to one of the regions ravaged by the virus, and in areas it is widespread or had been in contact with someone who returned from one of those countries. Towards the end of August 2014, cases involving affected Americans based overseas reached 696.
Mosquitoes in uninfected areas can themselves contact the virus and spread it in no time because some places like Utah, Wyoming, Iowa, Montana and North Dakota never had a single case of the virus until transmission of the virus to locals began in some of these states.
The mosquitoes responsible for the transmission of the Chikungunya virus in America, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti, scarcely feed at night. These mosquitoes are common in some parts of the southeastern US and south west but the species prevalent in the northern part of America, including the Mid-Atlantic as well as the Mid-Pacific is the Aedes albopictus.
Some symptoms, including headaches, rash, muscle ache, fever and severe joint pain appear in people infected with the Chikungunya virus. Infection with this virus is not life- threatening and can be treated quite easily but the pain in the joint are usually extreme. Since the Chikungunya virus and the dengue virus are transmitted by the same species of mosquito, treatment is often a serious problem for people who have visited endemic areas and despite the fact that the virus is not communicable; there are no peculiar medications and vaccines to protect humans from the virus except the treatments administered against the symptoms.
WEST NILE VIRUS
This disease was first discovered in New York around the late 90’s, is being transmitted by about 75 different species of mosquitoes in different parts of the US. In the Northern states, the virus is commonly transmitted by Culex Pipiens; in the western states, it is being transmitted by Culex tarsalis and by Culex quinquefasciatus in the southern part of the United States. Since its discovery, the virus has extended to 48 more states, Mexico and Canada. About 262 fatalities has been recorded from over multiple thousands of cases involving humans in 2003 and an average of 1200 serious cases involving neurological diseases between 2009 and 2013. Because infection with the virus comes with very mild or no symptoms at all, making it difficult for scientist to formulate a vaccine that can be used for complete treatment.
Besides through bites from mosquitoes, humans contact this virus mainly through contact with dead horses and birds because they (horses and birds) are easily infected with this virus. So it is advisable to beshield the hands and entire body when touching or coming very close to dead animals.
There are four types of the Dengue virus but the Dengue Haemorrhaegic Fever (DHF) is the most fatal when not properly treated especially in younger humans. This virus is present in the habitats of nearly half of the world’s population. Statistics from WHO has shown that it affects 50 to 100 million people yearly. All through Asia, America, the Pacific, the Caribbean and Africa, the virus is prevalent in about a hundred countries.
Dengue virus is rampant among people visiting endemic locations and is usually spread by bites from the Aedes albopictus as well as the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The virus is significant in places where suitable habitats are continually established by for the mosquitoes by human activities both in suburban and urban areas. There have been recorded outbreaks in places like Hawaii, Florida, stretching further to the borders of Texas- Mexico.
Regions like Africa and some part of Asia where poverty is at its highest harbor the malaria parasite more than any other part globally, and in sub-Saharan Africa, it kills majorly young children who are yet to build adequate immunity to fight it and expectant mothers who go through general immunity and health weaknesses. An appraisal by epidemiologists suggests that the malaria parasite kills at least half a million people every year.
Although malaria can be transmitted locally within a population, it is usually introduced to an area by people who have visited the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world. When these travelers get bitten by any of the carrier mosquitoes, the mosquito gets infected and goes ahead to spread it to other people within the populace.
Certain types of the Anopheles mosquito is responsible for spreading this parasite. Malaria brings its victims down with severe fever as well as flu-like sickness that tend to be really serious. These symptoms can be treated with anti-malaria drugs and sufficient care.
In history, Yellow Fever has been considered the most deadly infection transmitted via mosquitoes and is severely affecting those residing in areas where they are prevalent. Yellow fever is common in humid and damp regions including Africa and occasionally in North America. It is transmitted by bites from infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and can be spread from one region to another by travelers visiting areas where they are endemic. Programs initiated to curb Yellow Fever now include a vaccine for human protection against the disease.
EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS VIRUS (EEEV)
With only less than 10 cases of this virus reported yearly in America, the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus can be considered a rare disease among humans. States like Michigan, North and South Carolina, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Florida and Georgia have since 45 years had the highest number of reported cases of the virus. But they are most common in freshwater, surrounded by swamps and hardwood primarily in places like the Atlantic- Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes region.
The Culex mosquitoes and Aedes Coquillettidia transmit the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus to humans and sometimes horses.
Although people infected by encephalitis tend to suffer severe brain damage and sometimes death, the EEEV comes with almost no symptoms at all and about one-third of the people infected with this virus die every year because there is currently no vaccine against it. Only administered medications to treat the surfacing symptoms are available. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Virus and the Western Equine Virus are examples of viruses of similar family as the EEEV transmitted by mosquitoes.
JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS VIRUS (JEV)
The JEV, though rare in the United States, Canada and Mexico is very rampant in places like the Western Pacific and some parts of Asia. The possibility of contracting the disease in Asia is quite low and somewhat depends on location visited, length of visit period, activities during visit and the season of the year.
The Japanese Encephalitis Virus is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes and is predominant in areas with increased rate of rural agricultural activities such as crop irrigation and rice cultivation. While the infestation of this virus peaks in fall and summer in regions like temperate Asia, tropical and subtropical regions experience year round transmission especially during the rains.
Most times, symptoms associated with infection by this virus do not require treatments but they include fever, headaches, vomiting, and in rare cases damages the brain tissues and never cells.
Although cases involving the JEV are rarely reported, about 25 out of 100 people infected with it end up dying. In that light, the virus has since been handled with serious concerns and a vaccine developed to protect humans against it.
LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS VIRUS (LACV)
A yearly estimate of about 90 people gets infected with LACV in America. Most of these cases arise from the upper mid-western, mid-Atlantic and southeastern states around the end of spring through fall. The virus is also active during winter in the south part of Guinea States.
Humans get this virus from the bites of Aedes triseriatus, an aggressive specie of mosquito. These mosquitoes are commonly referred to as eastern treehole mosquito because their female counterparts breed their young in standing water gathered in discarded tires, cans and majorly tree holes.
Infection with this virus comes with virtually no symptoms but victims might get severely sick and develop encephalitis. Care for those infected with this virus can only be administered by treating evident symptoms because no vaccine or medication has been found for the virus itself. Only about a person out of hundred infected people ends up dying from infection with this virus.
ST LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS VIRUS (SLEV)
Places in central and eastern states associated with recurring epidemic outbreaks and the Gulf of Mexico have become primary spots for the transmission of the SLE virus. The worst outbreak of this virus in the United States that lead to neuro-invasive issues occurred around 1975 in the central states of the Ohio-Mississippi River Basin with about scores of hundreds of cases.
The primary carriers of this virus are Culex pipiens, Culex quiquefasciatus, Culex nigripaipus and Culex tarsalis. Every region in America experiences the transmission of St. Louis Encephalitis Virus from late summer through early fall by vectors that vary through each region. For example, in the eastern states, the virus is transmitted majorly by Culex pipiens and Culex quinuefasciatus; the vectors prevalent in Florida is Culex nigripalpus while Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens are the major transmitters of the virus in the western states.
Nearly all victims of this virus do not experience any symptoms and so it usually goes undetected, but the disease ought to be taken seriously because it comes with severe complications that affect the part of the brain holding the central nervous systems in older humans; leads to severe fever and headaches in young adults and children; and most often develops into encephalitis in older adults. Because there is known formula to treat this virus and treatment is applied only against its symptoms, the virus tends to cause death as its victim grows older.
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