Vector-borne Diseases from Climate Change
Andreas Klippe Comments January 4, 2018
Vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile fever all come from one source – mosquitoes.
These insects thrive on stagnant water where they lay eggs. No doubt, they are prolific during wet seasons when there are plenty of breeding grounds for them. Once matured, they fly off to feed blood from humans or animals.
It’s through biting humans or animals that these mosquitoes transmit diseases. The parasites in their saliva is what cause these diseases. They are typically most active during rainy season but, with climate change, mosquitoes are now swarming throughout the year.
Knowing Vector-Borne Diseases:
Below are the most common vector-borne diseases in history. Philippines is a tropical country, where a wet season occurs annually. Thus, it should not be a surprise that some of these vector-borne diseases make the headlines every year.
- According to a popular Internet source, “Malaria is an infectious disease affecting humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans belonging to the Plasmodium type.” Its symptoms “include fever, tiredness, vomiting, and headaches. In severe cases it can cause yellow skin, seizures, coma, or death.”
- As for dengue fever, the same source states: “Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.What causes dengue fever? Again, from the same source: “Dengue virus…is a single positive-stranded virus of the family Flaviviridae; genus Flavivirus.”When a patient exhibits misleading symptoms like high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and skin rash, chances are that he has dengue. The symptoms are usually branded as misleading, since they can easily be mistaken to a common flu.However, without immediate medical treatment, dengue can deteriorate into the dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is highly fatal.
- Another disease that mosquitoes spread is the yellow fever, which resembles dengue to some extent. Just like dengue, people who are infected with yellow fever experience severe flu-like ailments. If there’s one peculiarity found in yellow fever, it’s the damage that it causes to one’s liver, kidneys and intestines.
- Last in this list is the West Nile fever. Again, it resembles dengue, but is less common than the said disease. Although there is no vaccine against West Nile fever, there is a high chances of recovery from this vector-borne disease.
Exposing the Culprits: The Carriers of Vector-Borne Diseases
Although vector-borne diseases can also be transmitted by ticks and flies, mosquitoes are regarded as the most common carriers. The only best way to prevent them from proliferating and spreading diseases is to maintain a clean environment.
Aerial spraying insecticide is also a good measure to prevent the spread of mosquitoes. It must be done right after a rainy season or a flood.
Wearing long-sleeved clothes and applying insect repellent are also effective ways of avoiding insect bites.
There is no square rule to totally eradicate mosquitoes but with constant cleaning and air spraying, the proliferation of insects can be minimized.
Do you know other means that effectively prevent the spread of vector-borne diseases? Post your suggestions below.