These are small flying insects, known as zanzare in Italian, are found around the world. There are approximately over 3000 species. They have a pair of scaled wings, a pair of halteres, a slender body, and six long legs. The female mosquito bites, sucking blood from humans and other animals and can spread infectious diseases such as; malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya (a virus spread by the Tiger mosquito ‘Aedes albopictus’, which was reported for the first time in north-eastern region of Emilia-Romagna, Italy in 2007 ).
- Chikungunya – begins with a fever that lasts a few days but persistent headaches and chronic joint pains and pronounced lethargy can last for weeks or months.
- Dengue – caused by another virus but with similar symptoms to chikungunya – fever followed by severe pain in the joints, headaches and vomiting.
- Yellow fever – sudden fever and headaches but can develop into chills, bleeding, rapid heartbeat, headache, back pains as well as “coffee ground” vomit that contains blood.
Fortunately you should not have to suffer too badly in Lake Como as each year leading up to ‘mosquito season’ the surrounding area is sprayed in order to keep mosquitoes at bay. If you do however take a bad reaction to a mosquito bite, seek medical advice or go to the Pharmacia and show them, I am almost certain they will know what to give you.
- A mosquito can “smell” its human blood dinner from a distance of up to approx 50 kilometres (30 miles) away.
- A mosquito can transmit fatal diseases such as; Malaria, Dengue Fever, Ross River Fever, and more. Around one million people die of Malaria world wide each year.
- Mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV as the virus cannot survive in the mosquito.
- It is only the female mosquito that bites as she needs blood for protein to make her eggs.
- Mosquitoes like sugary liquids such as plant plant nectar and fruit juices.
- Mosquitoes generally bite in the warmer weather.