The malaria parasite is a single-celled organism inside the Plasmodium species. The malaria parasite can only live in a person or animal after it gets into their body. This is called ‘spreading to new places’. When a mosquito bites someone, it can spread the malaria parasite to other people and animals, causing symptoms like fever and chills, headache, sweats, and malaise. These symptoms may last for weeks or months if parasites are not destroyed. Therefore, if you experience such symptoms, consult with your doctor for malaria treatment.
How does malaria take place?
When the female mosquito bites someone with malaria, she injects her saliva along with some of her eggs when she drinks blood for protein for them to grow. Now, the eggs hatch inside the person’s body but do not grow up at all. Instead, they stay dormant until there are enough red blood cells around so that they can develop into plasmodia, which is another stage of development before the malaria parasites will become salivary glands of mosquitoes. Further, they burst out from the red blood cells and develop into plasmodia.
When a mosquito bites an animal with malaria, the same process happens, except some plasmodia are injected into another mosquito when it feeds on blood again. This way, the plasmodium is spread to other animals or people.
The other difference is that either sexual organs or male sex organs called gametes are formed, causing female mosquitoes to bite humans instead of animals. They can lay their eggs for further generations.
Lastly, if there are no red blood cells around for them to develop, they will go back into dormancy until there are enough around again. The other stages of development will take place, and they will burst into other red blood cells. The absence of proper malaria treatment can cause complications. Therefore, do not ignore its symptoms.
Why do mosquitoes prefer biting some people over others?
Mosquitoes like to bite humans for two reasons-
- Our body temperature is higher than other warm-blooded animals. Therefore, we produce more carbon dioxide.
- Secondly, we give out a particular chemical called lactic acid, which attracts them even more than other warm-blooded animals.
The female mosquito needs protein and nutrients from the blood to provide food for her eggs. Therefore, she bites an animal or human who has enough of this instead of wasting her energy on something that doesn’t have it. She can easily tell if that animal or human is suitable just by detecting chemicals in their sweat. This is why you can feel some mosquito bites more than others can. Moreover, just like other animals, her main goal is to find food for herself and her future offspring so she would not waste time biting someone who doesn’t have enough of what she needs.
What are the differences between mosquitoes that carry malaria and those that don’t?
The first difference is how they look. The female Anopheles mosquito has a small head with a big thorax (or middle part). On the other hand, the male mosquito has an even bigger thorax, which is generally longer than his abdomen or tail end with wings underneath it. His head is smaller compared to the female’s head. However, it is still bigger than its abdomen. Their wings are long narrow strips around their body with scales at the end. The female mosquito has much longer legs than the male one, which is short and rounder can easily curve when you touch them. On the other hand, its feet have suckers that help it hold on to us humans or animals it bites.
You can prevent the disease by identifying the difference. However, if you already have the disease, look for well-working malaria treatment as soon as possible.
The second difference is what they eat. Male mosquitoes only feed on nectar for energy. On the other hand, female mosquitoes need to consume blood for their eggs, so they will be able to reproduce. They both have a tube-like mouth with long sharp jaws, which are folded under their head until needed. This way, it will not take up space when flying around looking for food or mates. Instead, it gets stored under its head, waiting to bite something so it can get its nutrients from it once eating starts happening again. In addition, the female mosquito has a special gland that produces a protein called Anopheles gambiae protein or AGP and another one that stores sugar called glycogen. On the other hand, the male mosquito does not have them.
Another difference between mosquitoes carrying malaria and those who do not is what they carry in their blood. Female Anopheles provides food for their offspring by giving something called hemozoin, which is passed on to its eggs instead of blood. This substance contains proteins, fat, and other nutrients like amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, which help them, develop into adults without having to bite humans or animals unless it is necessary to get food for the next generation. She only bites when her body needs the energy to produce this substance, which contains the same ingredients as red blood cells.
A single bite can lead to a severe condition in some people. Therefore, to avoid malaria treatment, look for preventive measures.
How do mosquitoes know when they need to drink more blood?
Mosquitoes are attracted to warm-blooded animals, especially humans. It is because of our body’s heat. They use their antennae in front of their head to find us by detecting chemicals called carbon dioxide (CO2), which we exhale with every breath out, lactic acid in our sweat, plus other chemical compounds that come from our skin or breath like octenol. Moreover, they also see us using their two compound eyes made up of thousands of lenses so they can easily spot us moving around once they fly close enough. If one mosquito visits an animal or human, it will remember the smell. Therefore, the next time it comes across something similar, it may know that is a food source it can visit making the biting process faster, and easier for them. However, some species of mosquitoes only need to smell us once before knowing we are a food source. Therefore, their sense of smell is much better than other ones. If they are not able to find anything satisfactory, they may decide to bite something else. However, they will always look for their previous choice first.
How does mosquito bites itch and what causes this reaction?
Mosquito bites itch because our body thinks it’s an injury caused by bacteria or viruses. Therefore, it tries to get rid of them by sending white blood cells through our skin towards the wound, continuing pumping out chemicals like histamines that make these cells produce more antibodies (IgE) to attack it. This process makes the skin inflamed and swells up, freeing more histamine so the body can perform its actions quicker whenever there is a threat nearby. It also releases endorphins because we feel pain once bitten, which has this sedative effect on us, making us want to scratch that itch even more while producing dopamine-like substances.
If you experience symptoms such as headache, vomiting, and fever can suspect that it can be a consequence of a mosquito bite, consult your doctor for malaria treatment without a second thought.
Does everyone react the same way when they are bitten?
No, some people might not even notice if a mosquito bit them, only noticing it if those itching sensations take over their entire body minutes after the insect land on them. However, others who are very sensitive may start feeling as if something is crawling under their skin as soon as one or two mosquitoes bite them. They start scratching or rubbing their skin to try and get rid of it, especially sensitive people. They feel the effects of the itchiness faster than others do.
How long does a mosquito bite last?
The bites usually stay there until your immune system gets rid of them, replacing your tissue with new healthy cells that can resist any microorganisms that may be hiding inside it. It usually takes around 3 days for the bite to fade away, although some may remain visible even after 5 days. Therefore, they need to use medical treatments like creams or pills to stop itching before the symptoms go away completely. Otherwise, they may have an awful time trying to sleep without feeling as if something is crawling over their skin all night long.
There’s also another kind of wound called “Macular” that causes small red dots, which usually appear on the legs or arms after being bit by an insect that can spread all over your body in just a few hours. Although this reaction is painless, it is dangerous because it means you are experiencing an allergic reaction caused by chemicals released when the mosquito bites. Here, you need immediate medical help to prevent things from getting worse if you notice painful swelling around the bitten area or even hives.
If you are undergoing malaria treatment, prevention is crucial at that time as well. Prevention and appropriate healing procedures will help avoid complications.
Do mosquitoes carry other diseases?
Yes, there are many different types of disease-carrying insects, so chances are they could be hiding in your neighborhood waiting for their next victim to come along. Mosquitoes aren’t picky about who they bite since most of them live off our blood and get to enjoy a nutritious meal from anyone foolish enough to let them get close to them. They usually get diseases from other insects like ticks and bees that carry fungi, viruses, and parasites, which they end up transferring inside your bloodstream by biting you. This can easily damage your organs and make you sick in the long run. Moreover, mosquitoes also carry their type of diseases like Malaria or Yellow Fever that could become your worst nightmare in no time if not treated properly.
What are the most effective remedies for malaria?
Every mosquito bite has different effects on an adult and a baby depending on their immune system and its ability to fight off any unknown disease. If you are dealing with a malaria outbreak without knowing about it, then taking the wrong medication could end up killing your child if one of these insects bites them while your pills are still active in their bloodstream.
How do you get rid of mosquito bites?
There are two ways to cure a bite-
- Wait for your immune system to do all the work and kill off any potential infection that could have been hiding in your body. This usually takes around 3 days, or even up to 5, depending on your overall health condition. Moreover, it can also rely on how vulnerable you are to any disease that might be hiding inside mosquitoes.
- Apply some malaria treatment like calamine lotion or creams to stop the itchiness and take pills if necessary. This usually takes less than 24 hours. However, it is not recommended for everyone since our immune system sometimes needs a little boost, so we do not end up getting sick if we stop using creams after a few hours.
How long does it take to heal from malaria?
Mosquitoes in tropical regions spread malaria. Therefore, it is considered a big problem in countries like Africa, Asia, or South America. This disease affects millions of people around the globe. However, you can fight it easily if you do everything right after being infected. It is because they are very sensitive insects, which are easy to kill off whenever you have the proper medication with you.
How can you prevent mosquito bites?
The best way to deal with this annoying insect is to stop it from getting close enough by using any repellent, whether it is chemical or natural since we usually find them on our doorstep without even asking for an invitation first. Moreover, you can also use special nets that you spread on your bed if you plan to sleep during the night, but a spray bottle filled with a mixture of water and soap could also do the trick if you do not have anything else at your disposal.
What foods can help recover from malaria?
- For a healthy adult, a simple remedy is to eat foods that increase good bacteria in the gut. These include probiotics yogurt and kimchi, as well as fermented fish or fish sauce.
- The other foods that kill malaria include cloves, garlic, and ginger.
- Chemoprophylaxis is a medical approach that involves taking the anti-malaria drug before being infected. Scientists are developing a new type of malaria vaccine that uses an attenuated virus to trigger the production of antibodies against the mosquito stage of the Plasmodium parasite, which is responsible for infecting humans via its bite.
- Another malaria treatment is to eat foods with high vitamin C content, especially citrus fruits. When vitamin C is combined with other antioxidants, it strengthens their potency against the malaria parasite.
- Zinc can help fight malaria. Good sources of zinc include shellfish and pumpkin seeds.