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Mosquito Bites


Disease: Mosquito Bites Mosquito Bites
Category: Dermatological diseases
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Disease Definition:

Mosquito bites can sometimes transmit serious diseases, such as malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus.

The risk of being bothered by mosquito bites is high, although the risk of getting diseases from mosquito bites is low. Mosquitoes are most prevalent at dawn and dusk.

However, no matter what time of day it is, people can take steps to keep pesky mosquitoes at bay. There are treatments to ease the itch in the case of getting mosquito bites.

Work Group:

Prepared by: Scientific Section

Symptoms, Causes


The following are included in the typical signs and symptoms of mosquito bites:

  • Itching
  • Soft, initially pale bumps on the skin that can become red


The bump that results from a bite may take up to 2 days to appear or it can appear immediately. Bumps are present between 2 and 10 days, and they generally range in size from 0.12 inches (0.3 centimeters) to 0.39 inches (1 centimeter) in diameter. A person may have a much larger area of itching if he/she is highly sensitive to mosquito bites.

Wheezing, significant hives and swelling in the throat may be the result of a serious reaction to mosquito bites in rare cases. Urgent medical attention is required in this life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.

Serious diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, West Nile virus and yellow fever can be transmitted by mosquitoes. The following may be included in the signs and symptoms of a more serious infection:


  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Lethargy
  • Body aches
  • Severe headache
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea
  • Rash
  • Fever
  • Confusion
  • Swollen glands

West Nile fever or another serious infection may be indicated by these signs and symptoms. It's important to get diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.


The bite of a female mosquito is the cause of mosquito bites. By piercing a person’s skin with her mouth (proboscis), the female mosquito feeds off that person’s blood.  She deposits some of her saliva into his/her skin as well while sucking the blood. Proteins that remain in the skin are contained in this salvia. Resulting in the characteristic itching and bump, the body's immune system may then react to those proteins.

By evaluating the chemicals in an individual's sweat, scent and exhaled carbon dioxide, mosquitoes select their victims. The risk of getting bitten is greater due to a few factors. The following are more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes:

  • People with type O blood
  • Overweight individuals
  • Men


Mosquitoes may be attracted by wearing dark colors that absorb heat, as mosquitoes are usually attracted to heat.

Adults are less likely to have strong reactions to mosquito bites because if bitten many times throughout life, they may become less sensitized to mosquito bites. The risk of experiencing symptoms from a mosquito bite is greater in children who haven't been bitten as much.



Some of the complications that mosquito bites may cause include:

Wheezing, swelling in the throat and significant hives may be the result of a serious reaction to mosquito bites. Urgent medical attention is required in this case.

Infected bites:
Any resulting sores could become infected when mosquito bites are scratched.

Mosquito-borne diseases:
Mosquitoes can act as reservoirs of diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever and West Nile virus. By biting an infected person or animal, the mosquito obtains a virus. After that, through its saliva, the mosquito can transfer that virus to a person when biting him/her. In tropical areas of the world, malaria and dengue fever are far more common.




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