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What Diseases Can Bugs Carry?

Last Updated: 14.07.24


If you’re determined to get rid of those pesky bugs that keep on invading your house, you should read some reviews of bug repellents as they will definitely help you make the best decision. Finding the right bug repellent might be a little frustrating as the market is flooded with products that promise to offer amazing results.

You’re in charge of choosing the one that is most suitable for your needs, and you have to be cautious when you decide which product to buy. There are multiple aspects that you should take into account, and as long as you pay close attention to every single detail, and you inform yourself very well about the product you are planning to buy, you will not regret your choice.

Besides being super annoying, bugs can also pose a serious risk to your health – your family and your pets can also be in danger. There are many people who ignore this important aspect and they don’t realize that bugs can really affect their well-being. That’s why we’ve decided to talk about certain diseases that bugs can carry.


Insects able to transmit diseases

There are many insects that pose a serious danger to our health, and among the ones that are the most harmful, we can remember flies and midges. If you have heard about loa loa filariasis, you should know horse flies (Chrysops) are the ones responsible for it. This skin and eye disease can be very painful, and it can cause itchy swellings below the skin.

The good news is that it can be treated with a special drug, and there are cases when the adult worms from the conjunctiva can be removed through surgery. This disease can affect both men and women, but it is believed to be more common in older people. We don’t want to scare you, but it is interesting to know that adult worms can live up to 17 years in a human host.

Another type of insect that has proved to be very dangerous is the black fly (Simuliidae) – these flies are the ones that transmit onchocerciasis also known as river blindness. The person affected will suffer various symptoms such as disfiguring skin conditions, severe itching, or visual impairment which can lead to permanent blindness.

The patients are treated with ivermectin, and it is estimated that in 2017 there were 20.9 million people infected – 14.6 million people suffered from skin disease and 1.15 million experienced vision loss. It is also an eye and skin disease but unlike Loa loa filariasis, onchocerciasis cannot only lead to visual impairment but also to permanent blindness.

Lyme disease

This infection is known as Lyme borreliosis and it is caused by a species of the Borrelia genus, more exactly, Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by the bite of a tick of the Ixodes genus. Most people will notice an area of redness on the skin once they have been infected. Another important aspect is that this symptom will only appear after a week after the bite occurred.

Furthermore, this redness will expand gradually and it will end up disappearing after a few days or sometimes, after a few weeks. However, this doesn’t mean that the person is out of danger! If it is left untreated, the rash will reappear after a few weeks or months along with other signs, and that is why one should never wait and should search for appropriate treatment immediately.

Besides this rash that is neither painful nor itchy, most individuals will also start to experience other symptoms such as tiredness, headaches, and fever. The condition needs to be treated as soon as possible otherwise the affected person will start to notice that he/she is unable to move one or both sides of the face, or the headaches will become more severe.

A few people suffered shooting pains or tingling in their arms and legs in some cases. Moreover, studies show that about 10% to 20% of individuals may suffer certain memory issues or increased fatigue for as long as six months. It is believed that people suffer more severe symptoms in areas such as Northern America and Europe.


Tick-borne meningoencephalitis

This disease affects the central nervous system and it is caused by a Flavivirus, more specifically the tick-borne encephalitis virus. As we can tell from its name, the disease is caused by the bite of a tick of the genus Ixodes. It is common in the summer and spring, and it can affect people from various places around the globe such as Central and Eastern Europe and Asia.

The interesting aspect about this disease is that is can be transmitted by different tick species, depending on the area, and it has been expanding a lot in the last few years. Moreover, the virus not only affects humans, but it can also infect birds, rodents, ruminants, or carnivores. Moreover, the disease can be spread from animals to human, which makes it very dangerous.

The most common sources of infections for humans are ruminants and dogs, as people like to have them around their house and they build strong relationships with them. Almost 10 to 20% of infected individuals will suffer long-lasting or permanent neuropsychiatric consequences; most of the times the disease manifests as encephalitis, meningitis, or meningoencephalitis.

The incubation period usually lasts 7 days, and symptoms can be separated into two stages where the first stage lasts 2 to 4 days and the infected patient will be in a flu-like state. The second stage will appear only after 10 days and it is more advanced and includes neurological signs. There are many cases when people only experienced the first stage.

Chagas disease

The Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis is one and the same and it is a very dangerous disease that affects 6 million to 7 million individuals around the world. The majority of cases with people infected with Trypanosoma cruzi – the virus that causes the Chagas disease – is present in the region of the Americas, more exactly, in Latin America.

If you were wondering how this disease got its unique name, you should know that it comes from Carlos Ribeiro Justiniano Chagas, the physician and researcher who discovered it in 1909. It can be contracted by humans when they come in contact with feces or urine of triatomine bugs, also known as kissing bugs.

In time the disease has managed to expand and it has started to be discovered in places such as the USA, Canada, and many European and Western Pacific countries. The main cause of this expansion is the fact that people travel a lot now, and many people from these countries choose to travel to Latin America.

When a person gets infected he/she will start to notice certain symptoms such as skin lesions or swelling of the lids of one eye which can be a bit purple. Also, some people can experience fever, pallor, muscle pain, difficulty in breathing, and headache.



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