Mosquitoes still pose threat in parts of the globe31st March 2014
Just under 6,000 suspected cases of chikungunya, a viral disease carried by daytime-biting mosquitoes, found in the Caribbean.
Why can't we get rid of them?
If mosquitoes were wiped out it could have a disastrous affect on an ecosystem. Their larvae process waste in water where they breed and adult mosquitoes help pollination.
They spread other other nasty diseases beyond malaria, here is a list taken from the BBC's website:
Yellow fever affects around 200,000 people every year, with most cases in sub-Saharan Africa. After initially seeming to recover, around 15% of patients enter a second toxic phase which has a 50% mortality rate. At this point jaundice develops (shown through yellowing of the skin), which is due to liver damage.
Half the world's population is now at risk of contracting dengue which causes:
- severe headache
- pain behind the eyes
- muscle and joint pain
There is no vaccine or any specific medicine to treat dengue. Suggestions include rest, drinking fluids and paracetamol.
Chikungunya is a disease which causes a high fever and joint pain. It is usually found in Africa, South East Asia and Asian subcontinent. Recently found in the Americas and there are predictions it could spread to South and North America. It currently has no cure or vaccine.
La Crosse encephalitis
Those infected by this rare disease can expect to experience:
The most severe cases can lead to seizures, coma and paralysis.
Filariasis causes elephantiasis. The larvae can take up to a year to develop into adult worms and once in the human lymphatic system, the skin and underlying tissues thicken, especially in the legs, arms, breasts and genitals.
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