A session was taken by Dr. Anjali Goel on Vector-borne diseases. Following points were discussed:
- Vector-borne diseases are human illnesses caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by mosquitoes, sandflies, triatominae bugs, blackflies, ticks, tsetse flies, mites, snails and lice.
- Vectors are living organisms that can be transmit infectious diseases between humans or from animals to humans. Many of these vectors are bloodsucking insects, which ingest disease-producing microorganisms during a blood meal from an infected host (human or animal) and later inject it into a new host during their subsequent blood meal.
- Mosquitoes are the best known disease vector.
- These diseases are commonly found in tropical & sub-tropical regions and places where access to safe drinking-water and sanitation systems is not properly available.
Vector Borne Diseases:-
- Malaria- Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected Female anopheles mosquito. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite.
- Dengue- Dengue fever, also known as break bone fever, is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito.
- Japanese Encephalitis (JE) – Its causative agent is virus & it is transmitted by mosquitoes.
- Chikungunya- Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash
- Kala-Azar- kala-azar, black fever is the most severe form of leishmaniosis. This disease is the second-largest parasitic killer in the world after malaria.
Precaution to avoid vector-borne diseases:-
- Wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, tucked into socks or boots, and use insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes, sandflies or ticks.
- Install window screens in your home or workplace to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Sleep under an insecticide-treated bed net if you live in an area with a risk of malaria.
- Use indoor residual spraying with long-lasting insecticides on internal walls, eaves and ceilings to reduce biting.
- Get rid of stagnant water (for example, in containers, flower pots and used tyres) in areas where mosquitoes breed.
- Avoid contact with blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people or animals.
- Make sure you keep strict hygiene control of food, and avoid unpasteurized dairy products in areas where tick-borne encephalitis can be transmitted.