Carrying diseases that kill at least one million people each year, the mosquito is officially the deadliest animal in the world.
The Zika virus is the latest mosquito-borne disease to cause concern, with health officials in South America warning pregnant women from travelling to the area following links between the disease and thousands of babies being born with brain defects in continent, particularly in Brazil.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) will decide on Monday whether to declare an international health emergency and experts have warned the “explosive” movement of the virus across the Americas means it has the potential to spread further.
The Zika virus - in pictures
The Zika virus - in pictures
A three-month-old, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil. A rise in microcephaly cases is thought to have been caused by the spread of the Zika virus in affected countries
A mother holds her baby who has microcephaly
A five-month-old baby, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil
A pediatric infectologist examines a two-month-old baby, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil
A baby affected with microcephaly
Mosquito-borne diseases are especially concerning as mosquito bites are a constant threat among people living in certain climates and most of the diseases are untreatable.
Frances Hawkes from the Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich told the BBC: "Half of the global population is at risk of a mosquito-borne disease. They have had an untold impact on human misery."
Below are eight mosquito-borne diseases, other than Zika, which have the potential to cause severe health implications if contracted.
Malaria is found in more than 100 countries, mainly in tropical regions. It is a fatal disease and symptoms include a fever, shaking and chills.
The 2015 World Malaria Report, published by WHO, found around 3.2 billion people in the world are at risk of Malaria. In 2015 alone there were 214 million new cases and around 438,000 deaths.
Malaria is not found in the UK, but in 2014 around 1,586 travellers were diagnosed with the disease after returning to Britain.
Yellow Fever is rare among foreign travellers and tends to be found in Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and parts of the Caribbean.
The disease varies in severity from a mild fever to a hemorrhagic fever and can be prevented with a vaccination.
Six travellers from Europe and North America have died from the disease since 1996. None of them were vaccinated.
Around one-third of the global population live in an area where they are at risk of contracting Dengue fever. At least 100 million people world-wide become infected with Dengue each year making it a leading case of illness and death in tropic and sub-tropic climates.
Last year the UN launched an appeal for aid in Yemen after an outbreak of the fever lead to 3,000 cases being reported in the country in a matter of months.
Chikungunya was first discovered in 2013. Outbreaks tend to occur in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The disease is characterised by painful symptoms such as joint pain, headaches and swelling.
There is no specific treatment for the infection. The best way to avoid the disease is through preventing mosquito bites by using repellents and wearing appropriate clothing.
West Nile Virus
This is the most common mosquito-borne disease. It causes serious problems in fewer than one in 100 patients, most people who catch it usually suffer from mild flu-like symptoms.
In tropical countries it is possible to catch WNV all year round. There have been no confirmed cases of WNV originating in the UK and cases affecting travellers returning to Britain are rare.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is considered to be the most severe mosquito-borne disease. Of those who contract it, approximately 35 per cent may die. Of those that survive, 50 per cent may suffer long-term brain damage.
The disease is mainly carried in insects in the US and in parts of Canada, central and South America. Human cases are rare; in the US there are around six cases a year.
Battling the zika virus - in pictures
Battling the zika virus - in pictures
A worker of the Salvadorean Ministry of Health fumigates a house in Soyapango, 6 kilometers from San Salvador, El Salvador. Salvadorean authorities have began a three days campaign of fumigation to reduce the presence of the mosquito that transmit the Zika virus.
A Health Ministry employee fumigates a home against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango, six km east of San Salvador. Health authorities have issued a national alert against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, because of the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly and Guillain-BarrÈ Syndrome in foetuses.
AFP PHOTO/Marvin RECINOSMarvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images
A pediatric infectologist examines a two-months-old baby, who has microcephaly, on 26 January 2016 in Recife, Brazil.
A woman walks through the fumes as Health Ministry employee fumigate against the Aedes aegypti mosquito to prevent the spread of the Zika virus in Soyapango.
Marvin RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images
A health ministry employee sprays to eliminate breeding sites of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which transmits diseases such as the dengue, chicunguna and Zica viruses, in a Tegucigalpa cemetery on January 21, 2016. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly.
AFP PHOTO/Orlando SIERRA
A man walks away from his home with his son as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighbourhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador
A three-months-old, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil.
A pregnant woman waits to be attended at the Maternal and Children's Hospital in Tegucigalpa. The medical school at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) recommended that women in the country avoid getting pregnant for the time being due to the presence of the Zika virus. If a pregnant woman is infected by the virus, the baby could be born with microcephaly.
ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images
Army soldiers apply insect repellent as they prepare for a clean up operation against the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is a vector for transmitting the Zika virus in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
AP Photo/Andre Penner
Workers disinfect the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro to fight the spread of the Zika virus
Dr. Vanessa Van Der Linden, the neuro-pediatrician who first recognized the microcephaly crisis in Brazil, measures the head of a 2-month-old baby with microcephaly in Recife
Mother Mylene Helena Ferreira cares for her son David Henrique Ferreira, 5 months, who has microcephaly, on January 25, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants
U.S. women who are pregnant from traveling to many South American countries
In the last four months, authorities have recorded close to 4,000 cases in Brazil in which the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have led to microcephaly in infants.
Dr. Vanessa Van Der Linden, the neuro-pediatrician who first recognized the microcephaly crisis in Brazil, examines a two-month-old baby with microcephaly on January 27, 2016 in Recife, Brazil
Brazil is one of the countries in South America where the Zika virus has taken hold
Health workers fumigating to combat Zika virus in Lima, Peru. The US have already issued a warning urging pregnant women to avoid travel to Latin American countries
Two-month-old Jose Wesley, born with microcephaly in Brazil, is nursed by his brother
Western Equine Encephalitis
Western Equine Encephalitis affects both humans and horses. It was first recognised in 1930 in a horse in California. It is mainly found in Western areas of the US and Mexico. The majority of people infected will experience mild illness or even no symptoms at all.
Occurring mainly in Asia and the western Pacific symptoms of this insect-borne disease can vary greatly. Some patients may show no symptoms at all, however, at its most severe, the illness can result in severe inflammation of the brain and seizures.
In less than one in every 250 cases the infection can spread to the brain and there is currently no cure. The disease is rare - less than one in a million travellers will develop Japanese Encephalitis in any given year. There has not been a reported case in a traveller returning to the UK for over 10 years.Reuse content