Dengue or hemorrhagic (H) fever affects more than 85 countries and epidemics have occurred in the United States, Australia, Egypt, and Southeast Asia. More than 100,000 cases are reported in Thailand yearly.
Health authorities added that more countries could be affected, considering that dengue is one of the most under-reported diseases in the world.
The dengue virus is carried by the Aedes mosquito. It causes chills, extreme fatigue, severe pains in the back and joints, headache, and fever. Other symptoms are a spotty pink rash that first appears on the hands and feet, and spreads all over the body except the face. In other countries, dengue is known as “breakbone fever", “Panama six-day fever", or “Indian seven-day fever. "
In the absence of complications, dengue disappears in a week and is rarely fatal. But since there is no immunity to the disease, you may acquire it again in five years.
In a few cases, bleeding complications such as bleeding from the nose, gums or gastrointestinal tract may occur and can kill the patient. Dengue can also cause hematuria (blood in the urine) and hypermenorrhea (prolonged menstruation).
Another disease you can get from the day-biting Aedes mosquito is yellow fever or yellow jack. This is a common problem in Africa, South America, and other tropical countries.
Epidemics have occurred in the United States in the late 17th century. The last one struck Philadelphia in 1793 and killed 5,000 people.
The symptoms of yellow fever appear 12 days after the person is bitten by the disease-carrying mosquito. These include sudden exhaustion caused by high fever, severe headache, and crippling muscle pains.
This is followed by yellowing of the skin, dark urine, and bleeding from the mucous membranes. The patient may also vomit blood.
Up to now there is no cure for yellow fever. Treatment is aimed at making the patient as comfortable as possible. In a few cases, however, the disease can be fatal.
"Yellow fever is and of itself almost never fatal. In about five percent of all cases, death is caused by failure of the liver, kidneys or heart, " said Dr. Morris Fishbein, the late editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association in his “Popular Illustrated Medical Encyclopedia. "
Filariasis comes from the threadlike worm filaria which is one to two centimeters or 45 - 50 centimeters long. The thin worm is carried by the Culex mosquito, a night-biting species.
As soon as the worm enters the body, it gives birth to embryos that scatter to blood vessels and the skin. The embryos are later picked up by a mosquito and mature in the insect's body. The mosquito then transfers the worms to humans, starting another cycle of infection.
At first, the patient may feel nothing but a blood test can detect the problem. As the disease progresses, there is fever, chills, headache, rashes in the legs and body, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin and armpits.
A common complication of filariasis is elephantiasis or Bancroft's filariasis. In this condition, the arms, legs and external genitals swell as the worms obstruct the lymph glands. (Next: How to stop mosquitoes. )
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Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at the premier online news magazine http://www.HealthLinesNews.com