Common Vector Borne Diseases

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By Dr. Aruna Sud , General Physician

Usually vectors are certain organisms that transmit various pathogens from an infected person to the other. These organisms are insects that suck blood; they feed on an infected host and become carriers of the disease, and then transmit it to the next host they feed from. Some organisms that transmit these diseases are mosquitoes, flies, fleas and sandflies. The most common vector borne diseases are:

  1. Malaria: Malaria is a disease that is caused by the ‘plasmodium parasite’, usually transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito. The mosquitoes carry the parasite that infects red blood cells; these cells begin multiplying, eventually causing the cells to burst open.
  2. Dengue: Dengue is a condition transmitted by the ‘Aedes’ mosquito that has been infected by the dengue virus. It is characterized by symptoms of fever, muscle aches and vomiting. This disease can be fatal if left untreated or not treated at the right time; that is when the symptoms start showing.
  3. Chikungunya: Viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
  4. Zika: Zika is a common vector borne disease that is also transmitted by mosquito bites. The symptoms of this disease are similar to those experienced if diagnosed with dengue.
  5. Yellow fever: Yellow fever is characterized by symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, fever and sudden chills. The symptoms of this disease can turn very severe and can prove to be fatal. The disease also causes one’s skin and the eyes to become yellowish, hence the name.
  6. Chagas Disease: This disease is caused by the pathogens present in the triatomine bug’s feces. The symptoms of this disease include high fever, swelling around the infected region, headaches and swollen glands.