More than 1 million people around the world die from mosquito-borne diseases every year, and hundreds of millions more experience pain and suffering from illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes.
Did you know that mosquitoes have been cited as the deadliest animal in the world, causing more human fatalities than sharks and snakes?
Some mosquito-borne diseases that are commonly found in Malaysia include:
Dengue Fever - commonly spread via the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Dengue fever is usually found in tropical, and subtropical climates, and is present in urban and semi-urban areas, where both human and mosquito activity is high.
Zika Virus Infection - an emerging mosquito-borne diseases that was first identified in rhesus monkeys through a monitoring network of sylvatic yellow fever at Uganda in 1947. Zika virus was subsequently identified in humans in 1952. Outbreaks of Zika virus infection have been recorded in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.
Malaria - caused by parasitic protozoa that are transmitted through female Anopheles mosquitoes. Around 3.2 billion people or almost half the world’s population are at risk of malaria, with 85% of reported malaria cases in 2015 came from sub-saharan Africa.
Japanese Encephalitis (JE) Infection - a serious infection caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus, that commonly occurs in the rural parts of Asia. Most JE infections are mild (fever and headache) or without apparent symptoms, but approximately 1 in 250 infections results in severe clinical illness.
Chikungunya Infection - common symptoms of chikungunya infection include fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Chikungunya disease rarely results in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.
Mosquitoes are carriers of viruses and tiny parasites that caused these diseases. When a mosquito bites an infected person or animal, it can pick up the virus during the bloodmeal. The mosquito will then transmit the virus to another person when biting them.
Vaccine tests are still carried out and there is no specific treatment for dengue, but appropriate medical care frequently saves the lives of patients with the more serious dengue haemorrhagic fever. See a doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment if you experience symptoms of dengue fever.