WHAT IS A MOSQUITO?

Mosquitos are a group of about 3,500 species of small insects that are flies (order Diptera).

The mosquito life cycle consists of egg, larva, pupa, and adult stages. Eggs are laid on the water surface; they hatch into motile larvae that feed on aquatic algae and organic material. The adult females of most species have tube-like mouthparts (called a proboscis) that can pierce the skin of a host and feed on blood.

The mosquitos saliva is transferred to the host during the bite and can cause an itchy rash. In addition, many species can ingest pathogens while biting, and transmit them to future hosts. In this way, mosquitoes are important vectors of diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika and other arboviruses. By transmitting diseases, mosquitoes cause the deaths of more people than any other vector: over 700,000 each year.

Culex pipiens, often referred to as the common house mosquito, can be found in both urban and sub-urban, temperate and tropical regions across the world.
There are many arbovirus diseases carried by C. pipiens that span across many regions of the globe but West Nile virus is currently one of the most widespread through Europe.

Current Know Distribution:

West Nile virus in Europe in 2019 – human cases compared to previous seasons Click Here

Aedes albopictus  Click Here

Vector: Mosquito Ae. aegypti

Disease: Malaria

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death. Symptoms usually begin ten to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. If not properly treated, people may have recurrences of the disease months later. In those who have recently survived an infection, reinfection usually causes milder symptoms. This partial resistance disappears over months to years if the person has no continuing exposure to malaria

Vector: Mosquito

Disease: Zika virus

Symptoms vary on severity, from mild unnoticeable symptoms to more common symptoms like fever, rash, headache, achy muscle and joints, and conjunctivitis. Symptoms can last several days to weeks, but death resulting from this infection is rare.

A Zika virus infection might be suspected if symptoms are present and an individual has travelled to an area with known Zika virus transmission. Zika virus can only be confirmed by a laboratory test of body fluids, such as urine or saliva, or by blood test.

Vector: Mosquito

Disease: West Nile Virus

Most people infected with the West Nile virus usually do not develop symptoms. However, some individuals can develop cases of severe fatigue, weakness, headaches, body aches, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, and rash, which can last for weeks or months. More serious symptoms have a greater risk of appearing in people over 60 years of age, or those suffering from cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and kidney disease.

Medical testing can confirm the presence of West Nile fever or a West Nile-related illness, such as meningitis or encephalitis. If infected, a blood test may show a rising level of antibodies to the West Nile virus. A lumbar puncture (spinal tap) is the most common way to diagnose meningitis, by analysing the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding your brain and spinal cord. The fluid sample may show an elevated white cell count and antibodies to the West Nile virus if you were exposed. In some cases, an electroencephalography (EEG) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan can help detect brain inflammation.

Vector: Mosquito

Disease: Chikungunya

People infected with this virus can develop sudden onset fever along with debilitating joint and muscle pain, rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue. Symptoms can last a few days or be prolonged to weeks and months. Although patients can recover completely, there have been cases in which joint pain has persisted for several months and can extend beyond that for years. Other people can develop heart complications, eye problems, and even neurological complications.

Laboratory blood tests can identify evidence of chikungunya or other similar viruses such as dengue and Zika. Blood test may confirm the presence of IgM and IgG anti-chikungunya antibodies. IgM antibodies are highest 3 to 5 weeks after the beginning of symptoms and will continue be present for about 2 months.

Vector: Mosquito

Disease: Dengue virus

Diagnosing dengue fever can be difficult, as its symptoms often overlap with many other diseases such as malaria and typhoid fever.[19] Laboratory tests can detect evidence of the dengue viruses, however the results often come back too late to assist in directing treatment.

Dengue fever is mostly characterized by high fever, headaches, joint pain, and rash. However, more severe instances can lead to hemorrhagic fever, internal bleeding, and breathing difficulty, which can be fatal.