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October 6, 2019

Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Mosquito Borne Illness

Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Mosquito Borne Illness

For such small animals, mosquitos do cause lots of havoc and devastation, with mosquito borne illnesses, especially malaria, being among the leading causes of hospitalizations and fatalities in the world. It is worth noting that only female mosquitos bite humans. This is because the human blood serves as a source of protein for their eggs. Male mosquitos, since they don’t lay eggs, have no need for human blood and therefore don’t bite humans. It is also worth noting that not all mosquito bites are dangerous as while there are those that carry dangerous illnesses and diseases, there are those that are harmless and are just an irritation. If you travel out of the country, especially to tropical countries near the equator where mosquitoes remain active all year round in most cases, then you are likely to come down with a mosquito borne disease. In the US, mosquito season is mostly when you can suffer mosquito bites and get a mosquito borne illness as they usually hibernate or die when temperatures are low and dip under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to know the symptoms of the various mosquito borne illnesses so that you know when to seek emergency care, something this article will look to help with. 

First of all we are going to start with malaria, which is probably the most commonly known mosquito borne illness. Here, it is important to note that malaria doesn’t occur in the US and only occurs in folks travelling back from countries where it does occur. The symptoms of malaria include bouts of high fever which occur every 2 to 3 days with the fever being followed by profuse sweating, severe headache, muscle pains as well as tiredness. You may also experience jaundice in certain circumstances. If you are experiencing symptoms of malaria, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible for treatment as it can be deadly, particularly in children and infants. Early diagnosis and treatment of malaria is crucial. Another mosquito borne illness you could contract is yellow fever which also doesn’t occur in the US except in people travelling back from countries with it. There is also a yellow fever vaccine which can help prevent the disease that you should take before travelling out to countries with the disease. Symptoms are almost the same as with malaria, although in yellow fever, jaundice is common hence why it is called yellow fever. You can also experience bleeding from the skin, gums, gut or nose if it progresses. You should seek emergency care as soon as possible if you begin to experience complications from yellow fever which in most cases include inflammation in the brain and spinal cord which may manifest itself as fever and sore throat.

Dengue fever is yet another mosquito borne illness which you could contract, and this too doesn’t occur in the US, although a few cases have been reported in Texas and Florida. Symptoms for dengue fever include a high fever accompanied by shaking chills, severe bone pain as well as severe headache, eye, joint and muscle pain. You are also likely to develop a widespread rash. If you have dengue fever, you should seek emergency care if your symptoms become severe or if you develop severe bleeding in the skin, nose, gums or gut which can occur if the disease progresses. Another mosquito borne illness is the chikungunya fever which also doesn’t occur in the US. It is not as deadly as the other diseases and as such rarely causes any deaths. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, swollen joints, headache, muscle pains as well as widespread pink rash. It is a viral disease and as such will clear after a few days of rest and plenty of fluids. If your symptoms worsen, you should seek medical attention.

You could also contract the West Nile virus, which is also not severe in most cases with common symptoms including fever, skin rash, fatigue, headache, body aches as well as vomiting and diarrhea. If you develop a serious illness in the nervous system, which is rare, you should seek immediate emergency care. This usually results in inflammation of the brain as well as meningitis with symptoms including high fever, a stiff neck, severe headache, seizures, confusion, and partial paralysis among others. You could also contract the Zika virus, which is usually mild in most cases, with symptoms including fever, rash and joint pain. The illness usually clears after a week or so without treatment and severe symptoms are rare. It could though become a problem if a woman becomes pregnant after getting a mosquito bite with the illness as the pregnant woman can pass the illness to her baby. In such a case, the baby may develop a severe birth defect known as microcephaly which leads to the baby being born with a small head and brain damage as well as eye defects in certain situations. You should therefore seek medical attention if you are pregnant and have recently returned from a place with Zika virus or you live there.

The above are some of the common mosquito borne illnesses and how you can know if you require emergency care for any of them and it is our hope this article will be of great help to you.

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