Mosquitoes do more than cause irritation through itching, George Clooney discovered in Sudan recently as he contracted malaria caused by a mosquito bite.
Malaria is a potentially life-threatening disease and is contracted when an infected mosquito bites a human.
Mosquitoes can pass the disease from person to person too, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain. When an infected person is bitten by a mosquito, a small amount of blood is ingested by the mosquito. The insect is then able to pass the disease to the next person it bites.
A common myth is that malaria can be contracted by casual contact with a person. This is not the case, and the disease cannot even be contracted through sexual contact. Also, while the disease can be deadly, it is often preventable and even curable.
Malaria symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear and resemble the flu. High fevers, cold sweats, headaches, and fatigue are all common symptoms.
The key to a successful treatment of the disease is acting fast. If not treated within 24 hours, the disease has a much higher risk of ending in death.
Experts suggest taking anti-malaria medication if traveling to an area (tropical countries) with a high prevalence of the disease.