Mosquito-borne Diseases and How to Avoid Them

Mosquito-borne Diseases and How to Avoid Them

A few days ago, Maanit came back from school, with red, swollen, mosquito bites on his arms. I freaked out; bitten by mosquitoes in this damp, disease infested season is a bad idea.  I am quite certain that my reaction (maybe a little over-the-top), is an expected one from the entire community of mothers. A ‘mosquito bite’ at a superficial level is a mere, innocent looking swelling, which is red and itchy for a couple of days. Yet, this seemingly harmless bite can result in serious and at times, fatal diseases. Let us look at a few diseases caused by mosquitoes:

  1. Malaria:

It is the most widely known disease caused by these blood thirsty, miniscule bombs (yes…mosquitoes are all of this and much more!). It is caused specifically by the female Anopheles mosquito. Yes…the female in most species is the more dangerous always ☺

It is usually marked by fever, headache, nausea, body pains and so on.

  1. Dengue:

We all are aware of the Dengue alert, especially during monsoons. The Dengue causing mosquitoes, called the Aedes Aegypti, breed in stagnant water. They generally emerge during daytime and that is when we need to protect our kids the most. This particular disease might not have any symptoms at all in a few children. Yet, a few tell tale signs are- high fever, body aches and joint pain, rash and extreme tiredness. In rare situations, Dengue can be fatal. Your child needs immediate medical intervention, if severity increases.

  1. Chikungunya:

It is transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, again. After the mosquito has bitten, the incubation period is generally between three to seven days. The symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, rash and severe body ache.

  1. Zika Virus:

This disease has emerged as a big threat. This again, is causes by the Aedes mosquito. Zika Virus is characterised by mild fever, rash, joint pains, body ache, conjunctivitis and vomiting.

  1. Yellow Fever:

This is similar to the Dengue virus. The incubation period is between three to six days. The symptoms include high fever, body ache, nausea and so on. The infection can cause liver failure. Consequently it can result in jaundice. Severe infections can be fatal. Aspirin should be avoided in the treatment as it can cause bleeding.


The next pertinent question is how to avoid these diseases. Well, as the adage goes, “prevention is better than cure”. So friends, given below are a few guidelines that we can adhere to, to safeguard our children and us:

  • Avoid mosquito bites…..obvious!  Mosquitoes are generally most active during dusk and dawn. So that is when our kids need maximum protection.
  • Use mosquito repellents.
  • Make your children wear light coloured clothes, which cover their entire body (as much as possible).
  • Try and make your children sleep under a mosquito net. It can be a fun activity for them, like sleeping under a tent.
  • Use mesh on the windows and doors, to minimise the entry of mosquitoes in your house.
  • Avoid stagnant water inside your house or even outside, if possible. Remove potential mosquito breeding sites. Practise basic hygiene.
  • Yes, do protect your pets, too.

Be safe, be healthy! ☺


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