Understanding Mosquito-Borne Diseases (and How to Avoid Them)
Mosquitoes are some of the most common insects in the world and definitely the most deadly. Mosquito-borne diseases kill upwards of 725,000 people each year. Massive epidemics have spread throughout Africa and Asia, where a single bug bite can be fatal.It’s important to be well-informed about the risks associated with mosquitoes so that you are able to effectively protect yourself and your loved ones, preventing disease before a mosquito has the chance to bite.
Three Common Mosquito-Borne Diseases
While there are a variety of mosquito-borne illnesses to be aware of, the following three are some of the most common and threatening.
The most common mosquito-borne disease, without a doubt, is malaria. Hundreds of thousands of people die of malaria each year, mostly in Africa and Southeast Asia, where the disease is prevalent and effective medical care may not be as easy to come by. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about half the world’s population lives in areas with a risk of malaria transmission. That said, malaria disproportionately affects poorer communities without adequate access to methods of prevention and care, perpetuating a downward spiral of poverty.
The second most common disease spread by mosquitoes is dengue fever. Dengue symptoms include a high fever, severe headaches, joint, muscle & eye pain, rashes and mild bleeding. More serious cases might cause someone to vomit blood and have difficulty breathing, among other symptoms. Dengue is an emerging disease, with outbreaks rising dramatically in recent decades. Infection rates dropped slightly in 2017, and a vaccine was introduced to regions with the highest burden of the disease.
Zika virus has caught a great deal of media attention in recent years as it made its way into the continental US. That said, Zika is much more common in the Caribbean and South America than it ever was in North America.
For most people who are infected, Zika virus is no big deal. Symptoms occur in only 1 out of 5 people, mostly marked by headaches, fevers and joint pain. However, even if an individual is not symptomatic, they may be still be contagious. The most serious and well-known symptom of Zika virus occurs when pregnant mothers contract the virus. Children of Zika-infected mothers may develop microcephaly, which stunts head growth and may become fatal.
How to Ensure You Don’t Get Infected
The best method for ensuring you don’t contract a mosquito-borne disease is prevention. By using insect repellents, you are able to stop bug bites before they happen, eliminating your risk of infection. Ranger Ready Repellents are a great option. Ranger Ready uses the active ingredient Picaridin, a safe and effective alternative to DEET that has been proven to protect not only against mosquitoes but ticks as well. Ranger Ready protects you for up to 12 hours, keeping you safe from malaria, dengue, Zika and other insect-borne diseases.