Are mosquito-borne illnesses serious?
Some mosquito-borne illnesses can cause serious harm and death.
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'Mosquito-borne illnesses' is an umbrella term for several different diseases that share the same mode of transmission - they are all passed between humans (and animals) via mosquito bites.
Mosquito-borne illnesses are caused by a variety of disease-causing microorganisms, including many kinds of viruses and several kinds of multi-cellular parasites transmitted by the mosquitoes.
The symptoms of mosquito-borne illness vary widely, depending on the type of illness caused by an infection from a mosquito.
Mosquito-borne illnesses of one type or another can be found the world over, excluding Antarctica. Warm, humid climates are more suited to mosquitoes and therefore have a higher share of mosquito-borne illnesses.
The best way to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites by using insecticides, long-sleeved clothing and bed netting.
Some mosquito-borne illnesses can be prevented by vaccination, but many others have no vaccine.
Mosquito-borne illnesses cannot pass directly from person to person; they must be transmitted by a mosquito. In rare cases, blood-to-blood contact can transmit a mosquito-borne illness from one person to another.
Mosquito-borne illnesses are very common, particularly in poorer countries. Billions of people are in danger of contracting these diseases. Mosquito-borne illnesses are responsible for around one million deaths each year.