Mosquitoes are known to carry various diseases that can affeect both people and animals. Since these insects feed on blood, they tend to transfer microscopic organisms directly into the bloodstream.
For example, dogs could get heartworms from mosquitoes. Humans can also contract diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever, malaria, and many others from contact with mosquitoes.
In Australia, a flesh-eating disease which is believed to have been spread by mosquitoes is currently on the loose.
The Buruli ulcer (also known as the Bairns dale ulcer, Searls ulcer, or Daintree ulcer) is an infectious disease that comes from Mycobacterium ulcerans.
The disease releases a toxin called mycolactone which infects the skin of humans by weakening the immune system, eventually resulting in the death of skin tissues.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Buruli ulcer is a chronic skin infection that may require amputation if left untreated.
"The longer the bacteria go, the more of your flesh they eat, the more capillaries they destroy and the more they suppress your immune system," Dr. Jan Smith of the Mornington Peninsula stated.
Originally, experts were unable to determine how the disease was transmitted. Eventually, they blamed the epidemic on mosquitoes that might have bitten dead possums and later transmitted the disease to humans.
Dr. Christina Steffen, vascular surgeon of the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, advised people to keep their skin protected from mosquito bites.
"If people are in the garden or out in the bush, they should be wearing insect repellent and avoiding being bitten by things," she advised.
"Especially in the garden, they should wear protective clothing as much as they can, and also probably wash their skin after they finish," she added.
Doctors state that the disease is treatable through a minor operation by cutting out the ulcer or by taking medication for about 8 weeks.
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