Dengue, chikungunya cases on the rise: Five deadliest mosquito-borne illnesses you should know!

Till July 28, 9,990 suspected chikungunya cases have been recorded in the country. Also, over 15,000 cases of dengue have been reported across the country this year.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: There seems to be no respite from the mosquito-borne diseases for Delhiites as the city continued to grapple with the twin menace of dengue and chikungunya. This season, at least 771 dengue cases and 560 cases of chikungunua have been reported in the national capital so far.


Till July 28, 9,990 suspected chikungunya cases have been recorded in the country. Also, over 15,000 cases of dengue have been reported across the country this year.

However, experts are of the view that the incidence from dengue and chikungunya will continue to increase in next month as peak time is from September mid to October.

Dr Dhruv Mamtora, Infection control Specialist, S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mahim, says that although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most mosquitos are a nuisance because they consume blood from living vertebrates, including humans.


The females of many species of mosquitoes are blood-eating pests. In feeding on blood, some of them transmit extremely harmful human and livestock diseases -malaria, engue, chickungunya, yellow fever and filariasis. At least two million people annually die of these diseases, and the morbidity rates are many times higher still.

Mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases can lead to a series of symptoms including fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, rashes, confusion, and light sensitivity. The bites of mosquitoes can also cause irritation of the skin, which is caused from an allergic reaction to the mosquito’s saliva.

Here are five scary diseases you can get from a mosquito bite:

Malaria: The ancient disease originating from Africa gets its name from the Italian words meaning “bad air.” Malaria causes over one million deaths every year, most cases being children under the age of 5. 40% of the world’s population is susceptible to the disease. The areas most affected are the tropical and subtropical parts of the world.


Yellow fever: Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne disease that occurs in the tropical areas. Vaccination against the disease is recommended or even required for travel to some countries in these regions. The majority of people infected with this disease have a few flu-like symptoms, but about 15 percent of cases can lead to severe symptoms and possible death.

Japanese encephalitis: Japanese encephalitis is one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases in Asia, affecting individuals in even the most developed countries. It generally occurs in rural or agricultural settings, but it has been known to exist in urban environments as well. It is estimated that roughly 68,000 cases are reported annually, all of them vaccine-preventable.

Dengue fever: Dengue affects up to 400 million people per year. The symptoms of dengue are very uncomfortable and include mild bleeding (in the nose or gums), severe headaches and pain behind the eyes, and rashes. Severe dengue can lead to hemorrhagic fever or septic shock and possibly death. Like malaria, dengue is not vaccine-preventable, and the best protection comes from mosquito repellents and other measures.

Chikungunya: Chikungunya virus is reported to be present in over 60 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. The viral disease does not often result in death; however, joint pain can last for months or years and, in some cases, can lead to lifetime chronic pain and disability. The best way to prevent Chikungunya is through the use of repellents and protective clothing.


Dr Dhruv Mamtora also provides some general tips to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites that can make you sick.

  • Use insect repellent
  • Wear long sleeved shirts and pants
  • Use windows and door screens
  • Sleep with a bed net
  • Stay in air conditioned rooms
  • Avoid areas with still or stagnant water
  • Use prophylactic drugs upon doctor’s recommendation; prevention of mosquito bites, with insecticides, nets, and repellents is a must. Spotting initial symptoms and seeking medical aid is of utmost importance.