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Sometimes, a mosquito bite is nothing more than an itchy nuisance that will go away on its own within 24 hours. However, in some cases, the female mosquito not only sucks the blood of her victim, but also exposes her victim to a serious or even life-threatening ailment. Since mosquito bites are usually an inconsequential annoyance, you might not even connect your headache or fever to the mosquito bite you had three days before. If you’re experiencing symptoms or sickly feelings, knowing that you were bitten and passing this information along to your doctor can lead to the right diagnosis — especially if you have been exposed to a mosquito-borne illness.
Symptoms to Look for: The three most common symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses are:
Whether you have recently traveled somewhere where outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses are common or you’ve recently been bit at home, if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms – visit your doctor, even if the mosquito bite has completely healed.
Diseases You Can Catch From Mosquitoes: What are some of the most common mosquito-borne illnesses? Watch out for the following symptoms, especially if you have traveled anywhere where there are outbreaks:
- West Nile Virus — West Nile Virus is spread by mosquitoes and can lead to meningitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, headache, back and body aches, stiff neck, vomiting or nausea.
- Chikungunya — Chikungunya is another mosquito borne virus that’s very common in Asia and has recently spread to the Caribbean. This virus can cause fever, fatigue, headache, joint pain and swelling, or a rash. The worst symptom of Chikungunya is extreme joint pain, which can last for days, weeks and sometimes even months.
- Malaria— Malaria is a potentially fatal disease that is caused by a parasite. This parasite infects mosquitoes, and infected mosquitoes spread the disease to humans. Malaria kills millions of people around the world every year. Symptoms can be flu-like and can include fever, fatigue, headache, low body temperature and sweating, anxiety and chills.
- Yellow Fever — Yellow fever is a virus that can affect the liver. It is transmitted by mosquitoes, especially in Africa and South America. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, chills, light sensitivity, vomiting and nausea, redness of the tongue, face and eyes, and aches and pains.
- Dengue Fever — Dengue is a virus, and it’s considered one of the deadlier mosquito-borne illnesses, especially in tropical climates. Patients can experience symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, bleeding gums, pain behind the eyes, pain in the muscles, bones and joints.
- Arboviral Encephalitis — Ticks, mosquitoes and other pests can transmit the arbovirus, which can lead to life-threatening inflammation of the brain. At first, symptoms might be flu-like and can include fever, fatigue and lethargy, headache, stiff neck and confusion.
If a mosquito bites you or you travel somewhere where mosquitoes are common — and if you develop a fever, headache and fatigue — visit a doctor. If your symptoms are combined with any other symptoms listed above, seek medical help immediately.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites: Keep your family – and yourself – healthy and happy by protecting yourself from mosquito bites. Using mosquito traps can reduce the population of mosquitoes around your home and therefore lessen your chances of getting bitten. Mosquito Magnet® mosquito traps lure and then suck mosquitoes into a sealed chamber where they dehydrate and die within 24 hours. Install a Mosquito Magnet® trap in your backyard today, and reduce your chances of mosquito-borne illnesses.