How does mosquito help spread viruses

Mosquito-borne diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases by frequency among travelers returning to Germany

Many infectious diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes. In 2018, 95% of the malaria cases reported in Germany were acquired in Africa, mainly Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Togo, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Sierra Leone and Uganda. Most of the infected fell ill with tropical malaria, the most dangerous form of malaria. Many of the sick people were from their countries of origin.

The most common countries of infection for dengue fever in 2018 were in Asia, mainly Thailand, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, but the Maldives, Cuba, Mexico and Tanzania were also named as infection countries by travelers. A third of the infections were acquired in Thailand. Most people with Chikungunya fever became infected in Kenya and Thailand. Individual cases were also observed in Brazil, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Tanzania.

For the first time since 2001, three Germans fell ill on their trip to Brazil in 2018. Presumably they got infected on the Ilha Grande on the coast between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. A 33 year old man died. Japanese encephalitis diseases are rather rare. In 2011 a German tourist fell ill after her two-week trip to Bali (Indonesia). Most of the Zika virus infections were reported after a stay in the Caribbean, especially in Cuba, but also in the Dominican Republic. Furthermore, individual illnesses were reported among German tourists in Thailand, Brazil, Ghana, the Philippines and the Maldives.

Mosquito-borne diseases in Germany

In 2019, the first mosquito-borne West Nile virus disease occurred in a person in Germany. So far, mostly only horses have been affected by the infectious disease. The sick suffered an encephalitis and was reported from Saxony. According to the RKI (Robert Koch Institute), further cases of illness can be expected in Germany in the summer months. In the cooler seasons, the mosquitoes die, so that there are no indigenous cases of illness in winter. The virus was carried to more northerly regions by migratory birds and was able to establish itself through the warm summer temperatures north of the Alps. For this reason, there have been repeated outbreaks in southern and central Europe as well as in the countries bordering the Black Sea in recent years. The West Nile virus is transmitted in Germany by the native mosquito "Culex".

Protective measures

Basically there is a multitude of diseases that are transmitted by mosquitoes. Apart from the frequently mentioned ones, there is also leishmaniasis, Rift Valley fever, filariasis and many more. These diseases are rather rare among travelers. However, there is always a fundamental risk of becoming infected. Since the mosquitoes are active both day and night, they should be good Mosquito repellent measures be carried out continuously and carefully. There are also vaccinations against some diseases such as B. against yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis or chemoprophylaxis, i.e. the regular intake of tablets, as in the example of malaria, which can minimize the risk of the disease.