Mosquitoes may be tiny, but getting bitten by some of them can wreak havoc to our health. In fact, some mosquito bites can be so lethal, that the World Health Organisation has categorised them as one of the deadliest animals in the world. Every year, mosquito-borne diseases kill more than 700,000 people worldwide, and is responsible for 17% of the estimated global burden of infectious diseases.
In a tropical region like Singapore, our hot and humid weather makes it easy for mosquitos to thrive and breed, bringing this threat closer to home than you may think. Furthermore, mosquito-borne diseases become more widespread with rainy seasons, where the proliferation of stagnant puddles of water provide favourable conditions for breeding.
It is important to seek medical help immediately if you suspect you may be infected. Learn to recognize the signs of five of the deadliest mosquito-borne diseases to watch out for in our region:
1. Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is a viral disease that’s transmitted through an infected Aedes mosquito’s bite. It can be quite severe, especially amongst elderly folks or people with existing medical conditions. People can get infected with dengue up to four times in their lives, and subsequent infections can cause a greater risk of severe dengue. There is currently no cure or vaccine for the disease.
- Sudden fever for 2 to 7 days
- Severe headaches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint and muscle aches and pain
- Skin rash
- Mild bleeding
Zika is transmitted through an infected Aedes mosquito’s bite, which can happen during the day and night. Many infected people don’t have symptoms or have mild ones, however, it can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. If transmitted during pregnancy, the infection can cause birth defects. Currently, there’s no available vaccine or medication for Zika.
- Joint and muscle pain
- Red eyes
Malaria is a life-threatening condition that’s spread via an infected anopheles mosquito’s bite. It occurs when an infected mosquito transfers the plasmodium parasite into your blood stream during a bite. Symptoms occur between 10 days to a month after infection.
- Shaking chills (moderate to severe)
- High fever
- Intense sweating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal and muscle pain
- Diarrhoea and bloody stools
4. Yellow Fever
Yellow fever is a serious flu-like disease that can be deadly. It causes high fever and jaundice, which occurs when your skin and eyes turn yellow, hence its name. Unfortunately, this disease is not curable and develops quickly, but its also preventable with the yellow fever vaccine.
- Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
- Join and muscle aches
5. Chikungunya Fever
Chikungunya fever is a viral disease that’s characterised by sudden fever and severe joint pain. Symptoms usually occur within three to seven days from infection. There’s no vaccine to prevent this illness, and no effective treatment as well. The illness doesn’t cause death and most patients start feeling better within a week, but its symptoms can be severe at times. Usually, treatment includes lots of rest, fluids and medications which targets the symptoms.
- Sudden fever
- Severe joint pain
- Muscle pain
While there are limited vaccines and cures for some of the more critical mosquito-borne diseases today, taking steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites is a crucial step to stay healthy. Simple tips such as applying insect repellent when you are outdoors, and wear loose, light-coloured clothing can deter mosquitoes from biting. It is equally important to ensure that your home does not become a mosquito breeding ground, by removing any accumulation of stagnant water puddles in places such as flower pots and clogged water pipes.
This article is brought to you by Great Eastern.
Doctor Anywhere has partnered with Great Eastern in July to give away 100 sets of GREAT MozzieSafe Basic Plan which covers the 5 most common mosquito-borne diseases:
- Dengue Fever
- Yellow Fever
- Chikungunya Fever
The policy provides a daily hospital cash benefit of up to $150 for each day of hospital stay in Singapore, up to a maximum of 10 days per hospitalisation. T&C applies. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
Redeem the free coverage here: https://www.greateasternlife.com/sg/en/personal-insurance/our-promotions-and-events/doctor-anywhere.html