You may think of mosquitoes as annoying little insects who bite and leave behind red itchy bumps. But a mosquito bite can leave behind something more sinister than just a bump.
Mosquitoes carry many serious and sometimes deadly diseases. They can transmit these insect borne diseases to humans quite easily.
Infection rates from these diseases have increased over the last few years. In fact, many consider mosquitoes to be one of the deadliest creatures on earth due to their ability to spread dangerous diseases.
That's why it's important to protect yourself and your home from these pests. Here's a look at some of the diseases mosquitoes spread around the world.
Mosquitoes and Diseases
Mosquitoes are dangerous because they can carry a variety of dangerous diseases. They are "vectors," meaning they transport pathogens or parasites from one organism to another.
Some mosquito borne diseases are common in the United States, and some are not. In recent years, scientists have discovered vaccines and treatments that have reduced the mortality rate for many mosquito transmitted diseases.
However, it's important to stay vigilant and avoid mosquitoes as much as possible. If you feel sick following a mosquito bite, you should see your doctor right away.
West Nile Virus
This virus cycles between mosquitoes and birds. Infected mosquitoes transmit the virus to mammals and humans. West Nile is often a mild illness with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, and a rash.
Symptoms can last 30 days or longer in some cases. Some types of West Nile Virus are neuroinvasive diseases, meaning they can affect the brain and nervous system.
These types of cases are more complicated and lead to serious health problems, including encephalitis, which causes swelling of the brain.
Most cases of the virus are mild, however. In fact, 70-80% of those infected with West Nile Virus experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Most people with this virus experience mild symptoms, including fever, joint pain, or rashes. Many people don't seek any treatment for these issues, so it's hard for scientists to track all cases of the virus.
The main danger of the Zika Virus is for pregnant women.
When a pregnant mother becomes infected, her baby may develop microcephaly. This is a congenital abnormality that affects the size of the brain and often results in death.
Because of this possibility, pregnant women should be vigilant about avoiding visiting areas with reported cases.
Malaria can be a deadly disease and occurs in more than 100 countries around the world. It results when parasites feed on infected humans.
When someone develops Malaria, it's important to seek treatment right away. There are successful treatments for this disease when doctors diagnose it early.
Once the parasites enter the body, they migrate to the liver where they grow and multiply. They then move to the blood stream and develop in red blood cells. As they multiply, they destroy these blood cells.
At this point, the infected person becomes very sick. They may develop high fever, sweating, chills, severe headache, and various flu-like symptoms.
If the patient doesn't receive treatment, Malaria can lead to kidney failure and death.
Yellow Fever is found mostly in Africa and South America. Doctors report around 200,000 cases each year worldwide.
The virus has an incubation period of three days before symptoms appear. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and muscle aches.
In advanced stages, patients may experience nosebleeds, vomiting, abdominal pain, and internal bleeding.
Fatality rates range from 15 to 50% of reported cases. There's not a cure for Yellow Fever, but a vaccine has significantly reduced the number of deaths from this disease.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a virus that transfers from birds to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can transmit the virus to horses and people.
This virus is gaining a lot of attention lately because it can be deadly for young children. Scientists monitor EEE by capturing birds to check for the virus.
When bird populations have a high rate of infection, it's dangerous for people in that area. The virus is not common in the United States; however, as of 2020, there have been confirmed cases of EEE in New Jersey.
There is a vaccine available for horses, but there's not a human vaccine for EEE. Your best protection from this and other mosquito-related diseases is staying away from mosquito prone areas and having your home professionally treated for mosquitos.
This disease typically occurs in countries with tropical climates. The symptoms are flu-like and include high fever, vomiting, and intense headaches.
Symptoms appear within 7 days and may last for two weeks or more. In some cases, a condition called severe dengue occurs. This leads to blood vessel destruction and death.
There is no vaccine for Dengue Fever. The only prevention is to avoid mosquito bites in tropical areas.
The name of this virus originates from the Kimakonde language and means to "become contorted." This refers to the most common symptom which is joint pain.
Other symptoms include back pain, severe fatigue, and skin rashes. Most people recover from Chikungunya, but joint pain may linger for months or years.
In some cases, joint pain becomes a chronic condition, particularly in elderly sufferers. There is no vaccine. The only remedy is treating symptoms as they occur.
Avoid Mosquitoes and Insect Borne Diseases
You can help keep mosquitoes away from your home and property by removing any areas of standing water, repairing holes in window and door screens, and staying inside during dawn and dusk hours.
Wear protective clothing whenever going out in mosquito prone areas. And use mosquito repellants to keep a barrier between you and these pesky insects.
Your best defense is to have a professional exterminator or mosquito control service treat and monitor your yard and home.
Reduce Mosquito Populations with Viking Pest
If you are wanting to get rid of mosquitoes around your home and avoid insect-borne diseases, we can help. Viking Pest is the mosquito exterminator expert throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Viking's Yard Guard Mosquito and Tick treatment effectively reduces both mosquito and tick populations around your yard so you can enjoy your summer nights without the bites and reduce your chances of contracting a mosquito-borne illness.
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