Some of the most common diseases caused by different vectors are listed below:
- Mosquitoes – causes dengue fever, chikungunya, yellow fever etcetera
- Anopheles – known to cause malaria
- Culex – spreads Japanese encephalitis and lymphatic filariasis among other illnesses
- Sandflies – known to spread leishmaniasis and sandfly fever
- Ticks – spreads Lyme disease, relapsing fever, tularaemia, tick-borne encephalitis, and rickettsial diseases
- Tsetse flies – causes sleeping sickness
- Fleas – known to transmit plague from rats to humans
Symptoms for vector-borne diseases vary according to the illness and their severity. The symptoms also take a different period of time to show up (gestation period) once there infection has been contracted.
Common symptoms include fever, chills, headaches, muscle pain, and anaemia.
Some common steps that can be followed to reduce chances of contracting a vector-borne disease are:
- Use of insect repellent with DEET, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Avoid taking your baby outside after sunset in parks and lawns which have trees as they are home to a number of insects and mosquitoes
- Do not let water stagnate in and around the house; use mosquito nets to keep mosquitoes at bay
- Make your baby wear clothes that cover their bodies like long-sleeve shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
Two things are to be kept in mind when signs of your infant being affected by a vector-borne disease show up.
First, isolate your baby from other members in the house. Use clean cloths, utensils, and sheets for your child, and do not mix them with items that other people use. Solitary confinement of such kind would help contain the infection.
Second, do not wait for symptoms to blow up and develop fully. One never knows what kind of vector has caused what kind of disease, and the severity of the infection. S o a doctor must be consulted so that the necessary tests can be run and proper medication can be started at the earliest.