Child care: Insect-borne diseases

There are various types of insect-borne diseases that affect both children and adults globally. Some of the common diseases include the West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.

Close look on insect-borne diseases

West Nile virus

The West Nile virus and reported outbreaks of different forms of encephalitis are carried by mosquitoes and transmitted to humans once they bite.

Indications

Insect-borne diseases
Most cases of the West Nile virus are usually mild where some do not have any symptoms or simply have a headache, fever and body aches.

Most cases of the West Nile virus are usually mild where some do not have any symptoms or simply have a headache, fever and body aches.

In uncommon cases, usually among older adults, the nervous system is involved and the symptoms might include:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Confusion
  • Stiff neck
  • Seizures
  • Muscle weakness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Loss of consciousness

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is an insect-borne disease mainly spread by ticks.

Indications

  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rashes – usually start as flattened red spots that turn purple over time, most often forming at the wrists and ankles and spread to the soles and palms up to the legs, arms and the trunk

Lyme disease

In some parts of the United States, Lyme disease is an insect-borne disease considered as a health concern. Deer ticks are one of the insects responsible for spreading the disease.

Indications

Rash is the initial and evident symptom of this insect-borne disease. It is a red spot bordered by a light red ring that is the same as a target and grows bigger day by day.

Aside from the ring-link rash, some children have other symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen glands
  • Muscle or joint pain

In some instances, children might even develop drooping of an eyelid and/or corner of the mouth, vomiting, intense headache and stiff neck. After weeks or months later, some might end up with a swelling in the knee joint or other joint in the body.

Once a child shows any indications of these insect-borne diseases, a doctor must be consulted as soon as possible.

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