Mosquito bites occur due to the bites of mosquitoes which are insects belonging to the Culicidae family. Their features include a quite slender body, long legs, a balanced pair of wings, along with a pair of halters. The female mosquito is the deadliest among the species and often the main culprit that sucks blood of humans and animals. It is a dreaded carrier of different diseases and has been the primary cause of millions of human fatalities over many centuries. Mosquito bites are a significant threat to human lives, even as of today.
Mosquito bites symptoms
The signs and symptoms of mosquito bites tend to differ from one affected person to the other. Some individuals may immediately experience the symptoms, while others may elicit them some time after the mosquito bites.
- Mosquito bites usually lead to some swelling of the affected sites, accompanied by itchiness.
- Scratching of the areas affected by mosquito bites can result in formation of a bump.
- Increased scratching of mosquito bites can cause the affected skin to tear up, leaving in its wake, tiny wounds that are susceptible to secondary infections by bacteria and other pathogens
- People who are regularly affected by mosquito bites generally experience less serious symptoms, due to increased immunity of the body to them. However, children are at increased risk to developing allergic responses from mosquito bites, as they have underdeveloped immune systems.
- A majority of the symptoms associated with mosquito bites tend to fade away within hours or in a maximum of one day.
Causes of mosquito bites
- Mosquitoes have been found to occur in this planet for nearly 30 million years. They are equipped with different sensors that come with the ability to detect carbon dioxide, lactic acid and other chemicals from as far as one hundred feet. All of us are aware of the fact that humans and other mammas and animals release the gases in the normal respiratory process. Thus, the mosquitoes are able to find their victims.
- The mosquitoes are attracted by the chemicals occurring in sweat. It is considered as one of the reasons why people who perspire a lot tend to get affected by mosquito bites a lot more than those who sweat comparatively lesser. Mosquitoes also possess visual sensors that allow them to sense any moving living organism. Finally, they have heat sensors that enable the discovery of any warm blooded organism in the surrounding areas.
- The female mosquito makes use of its proboscis to pierce the skin, thereby causing a mosquito bite. The proboscis is an extremely thin, razor-like organ. Therefore, people who experience mosquito bites are generally not aware of the penetration of the proboscis into the skin. The mosquito’s saliva has anticoagulant qualities which prevents clotting of blood. This facilitates the sucking of blood by the mosquito, via the proboscis.
- A small wound along with some remaining saliva occurs at the location of the mosquito bite, after the mosquito has been fully satiated. The mosquito bite site experiences swelling and later develops into a welt. This causes the immune system to react to the proteins occurring in the saliva, resulting in itching. The swelling caused by the mosquito bites slowly fades away, but the itchiness persists till the proteins of the saliva are destroyed by the immune system
Diseases caused by mosquito bites
- Anopheles mosquito bites causes malaria. The disease can result in symptoms such as fever, headache, chills and an overall sense of sickness. It is dangerous medical condition that can cause deaths, but can be treated with anti-malarial drugs
- Aedes Aegypti mosquito bites are responsible for the occurrence of yellow fever. The disease causes symptoms similar to malaria, in addition to nausea, vomiting and jaundice. Only the symptoms of yellow fever can be treated, but the condition has no cure. Vaccination and control of the culprit mosquito can help in the prevention of the disease.
- Aedes mosquito bites causes encephalitis, which results in different symptoms like high fever, headache, confusion, a stiff neck and sleepiness.
- Mosquito bites of the Asian tiger and Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for occurrence of dengue fever in the Asiatic and tropical regions respectively. Dengue fever causes many symptoms and can lead to illnesses like viral flu or hemorrhagic fever
Mosquito bites treatment
It is important to follow the preventive steps to avoid mosquito bites. However, people affected by mosquito bites can follow the steps given below to treat the condition:
- The area affected by mosquito bites has to be washed with water and an antiseptic soap. Later pat it dry. It is important not to scrub the area while washing.
- Irritation and itching may be reduced via application of an ice pack
- It is important not to scratch the area affected by mosquito bites, as it can cause the skin to break up and leave it vulnerable to secondary infections.
- Patients can also ease the itching by applying calamine lotion or topical anesthetics at the site affected by mosquito bites
- Individuals who develop the symptoms of the diseases caused by mosquito bites must immediately visit a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Mosquito bites pictures