Mosquito Diseases

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Mosquito borne diseases are prevalent in more than 100 countries, infecting 300-500 million people and causing about 1 million deaths every year. In India, more than 40 million people suffer from mosquito diseases annually. There are a number of diseases borne by mosquitoes. They are malaria, filaria, dengue, brain fever and yellow fever. Yellow fever is caused by mosquitoes in jungle areas in parts of Africa and South America.

In India, malaria, filaria and dengue are the most prevalent diseases spread by mosquitoes. Over two million cases of malaria alone are reported. Even more astonishing is the fact that India spends 100 million dollars on malaria. In spite of spending so much, the diseases continue to explode from time to time. The reason is that these mosquitoes develop resistance to medicines and chemicals. Hence fighting mosquitoes and the diseases spread by them is a continuous process. Eradication of mosquitoes is the only way to protect mankind. Is it possible?

To a great extent, mosquito diseases can be prevented. This booklet is created to make people aware of the various diseases and how to protect themselves. In fact every household, village and township must participate in this process.

The mosquito borne diseases are no more downmarket diseases, since you find them in boardroom, in the lifts, in the cars, in the theatres, in the golf clubs, etc. However it is also not to be forgotten that mosquitoes and mosquito borne diseases are the result of low hygiene and sanitation in the downmarket areas and poor insect control in the upmarket areas.


Malaria is a common disease caused by a microscopic parasite that is passed along from one infected person to another by mosquitoes. It is prevalent in Latin America, the Carribbean, Africa, Arabian peninsula, Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India, Southeast Asia and southern China.
Relative risk of getting malaria:

1. Papua
New Guinea        1:140
2. Nigeria            1:210
3. Kenya             1:926
4. India                1:1450
5. Pakistan          1:5300

How do people get afflicted with malaria?

Four species of parasites cause malaria in man. The most dangerous of these is the plasmodium falciparum that can cause cerebral malaria.

This species afflicts about one-tenth of total malaria victims and might even prove fatal. The parasite enters the body by the bite of the female anopheles mosquito, which is the only mosquito type that transmits human malaria. You cannot catch malaria directly from another human being - the infecting parasite has to pass through a mosquito first. Even if a mosquito that has bitten a malarial patient bites you, the transmitted as malaria parasite has an incubation period in mosquitoes, just as it has in human beings.
Four species cause human malaria.
P. Falciparum
P. Vivax
P. Malariae
P. Ovale

Life cycle of the malarial parasite

1. Sporozoites in salivary gland
2. Oocysts in stomach wall
3. Male and female Gametocytes
4. Liver phase
5. Release of merozoites from liver

These enter red cells where both sexual and asexual cycle continue.

What are its symptoms?

Look for bouts of shivering, accompanied by severe chill that cause chattering of teeth and "goose pimples" on the skin. This will be followed by rise in body temperature. It might go to 40.5 degree C. And accompanied by severe headaches, bodyaches, etc. This usually lasts for 4 to 6 hours after which the temperature declines, profuse sweating occurs, and the symptoms disappear, leaving a feeling of great weakness. But symptoms aren't always clear-cut. They might mimic other illnesses. Sometimes it is wrongly diagnosed as the flu. Or, as when it is accompanied by abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, it might be mistaken for a stomach upset. Plasmodium falciparum in particular exhibits symptoms of jaundice, convulsion, etc., and can be confused with gastroenteritis, hepatitis, meningitis or viral encephalitis.
Fever and high body temperature, chills, sweating, back pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, coma, flu, kidney failure, severe headaches, convulsion.

What are the dangers of malaria?

While most malarial parasites need not be fatal, the resulting bouts of fever, shivering etc., can cause a lot of weakness. The plasmodium falciparum parasite, however, can cause serious complications including low blood sugar levels, abnormal accumulation of fluids in the lungs, spontaneous bleeding, circulatory collapse, and shock. It might be even fatal as when it causes the much-feared cerebral malaria - often described as un-rousable coma. Malaria is highly dangerous for the pregnant women the the unborn child, who are likely to develop the more severe cases of malaria.

Why are treatments not so effective?

Unfortunately, the more the anti-malarial drugs and used, the greater the resistance the parasite develops to them, maing it difficult to control the ailment. Quite often malaria is not easy to diagnose, and by the time it is correctly identified, the severit of attack has intensified. Also, most people tend to make medication only until the fever and more severe symptoms abate; after which they become negligent. But for the treatment to be really effective, it is essential that the patient go through the entire course of medication prescribed.

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