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Diseases, prevention and treatment of mosquito bites

Diseases, prevention and treatment of mosquito bites
in Internal Medicine

Apr 19, 2022

Mosquitoes may carry viruses, parasites, and bacteria in their saliva. Upon biting they may transmit the pathogens in our body resulting in severe or even lethal ailment. i.e. Mosquitoes are the known carriers of Dengue fever, malaria, Yellow fever, West Nile virus & several viruses which result in encephalitis. Malaria is very common in many countries. As per WHO, more than 200 million malaria cases took place in 2015 which were mostly borne by mosquitoes. Hence they are amongst the deadliest animals on the planet.

Treating mosquito bites

The mosquito bitten area should be washed with soap & warm water. Over-the-counter pain relievers, topical anti-itch or antihistamines medications for controlling itching and pain can also be used. Application of ice packs on the skin can relieve from itching as well. Children with itchy mosquito bite should be asked to keep finger nails short & must be reminded to not scratch them. It is rare but some individual are allergic to mosquito bites. In case we suffer from body aches, fever or a headache after getting mosquito-bitten, we should visit a doctor. These could be the symptoms of a mosquito-borne disease or some severe reaction.

Preventing mosquito bites

Mosquito bites cannot be entirely prevented; however, we can reduce our chances of being mosquito-bitten. Mosquitoes breed in water, so we should try avoiding to have still water around our houses. Anything consisting of stagnant water should be emptied.  Birdbaths should be cleaned regularly.

Vegetation and grass area around our houses should be well trimmed. We should also install screens in our windows for keeping the mosquitoes out. We should wear long sleeves & full pants & also use insect repellents when we are out in some grassy or wooded area.

To help prevention of mosquito-borne ailments, we should ensure that our vaccinations are all done prior to our travel to some infected part of the world. Doctors may prescribe some oral medicines for prevention of malaria or some other ailment.

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