Dangerous Mosquito Diseases That Can Cause a Lifetime of Damage
Mosquitoes are a lot more dangerous than you believe. They’re one of the most deadly insects in the world. Learn about deadly mosquito diseases in Jackson, MS here.
Mississippi, with its great outdoors, is also home to at least 1,000 different insect species. Many of them, like the Lady Beetles, benefit the ecosystem. Even termites, so long as they stay in the wild, are also helpful to the environment.
Then, there are others, like the Silverfish, which can send shivers down your spine. These creepy-looking critters don’t bite, but they can, if driven by hunger, munch on your stuff.
Some of the worst to have flying around are mosquitoes, though. Not only because their bites itch, but also because these can lead to mosquito diseases.
Granted, not all mosquito-borne diseases are deadly. However, they bring with them risks of severe complications. That should be enough reason to put in place proper mosquito control and prevention at home.
Read on to learn all about the top diseases causes by these pesky and dangerous buzzers as well as the Jackson, MS pest company you may need to hire to help! Regardless of any pest problem you may be experiencing, the pest specialists at Synergy² are ready to help!
1. West Nile Virus
The first case of West Nile Virus in the United States occurred in 1999. Almost 42,000 cases have emerged since then until 2014. This makes WNV one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases in the United States.
In fact, in the third quarter of 2019, Mississippi had 13 cases of the WNV.
Culex mosquitoes themselves aren’t the primary hosts of the virus; certain birds are. The insects acquire the infection, however, by biting infected birds. From there, the buzzers spread WNV to humans through bites.
The West Nile Virus is a highly infectious disease, and it can become neuroinvasive. Unfortunately, this has been the case in half of all previous WNV patients.
According to the CDC, most people infected with the virus don’t exhibit symptoms. In those who do, fever, headaches, and widespread soreness are common signs of WNV. Along with these, vomiting, diarrhea, and rashes also often occur.
Most people who get infected by the West Nile Virus recover completely. However, in others, WNV progresses into neuroinvasive diseases.
2. Mosquito-Borne Encephalitis
Some people who get bitten by WNV-carrying mosquitoes can develop encephalitis. This is one of the neuroinvasive diseases caused by mosquitoes. Mosquito-borne encephalitis can cause the brain to become inflamed.
In Mississippi, other types of mosquito-borne encephalitis have also occurred. These include the St. Louis encephalitis and the Eastern Equine encephalitis.
Although rare, encephalitis is a life-threatening condition. It can lead to high fevers, vision loss, disorientation, seizures, paralysis, and coma.
3. Mosquito-Borne Meningitis
Meningitis is another of the rare yet severe diseases spread by mosquitoes. As with encephalitis, mosquito-borne meningitis is also a type of neuroinvasive condition. The main difference is, meningitis causes swelling in the lining of the brain and the spinal cord.
As a type of viral meningitis, mosquito-borne meningitis is rarely fatal. However, people who get can still feel very sick, as the symptoms can range from high fevers to headaches. It can also cause vomiting, lethargy, body pains, vision issues, and sleep disturbances.
Most patients of mosquito-borne meningitis get over it within seven to 10 days. However, it’s vital to see the doctor if any of the symptoms mentioned above occurs. Not all cases of meningitis come from mosquitoes, as bacteria can also cause this disease.
Bacterial meningitis has similar symptoms as those caused by mosquitoes. However, those caused by bacterial infections are much more dangerous and fatal.
Malaria is a contagious parasitic disease with an ancient history. Up to now, however, it continues to plague the world, with cases reaching 228 million in 2018 alone. Most of these infections occurred in tropical areas, but the CDC says that 2,000 people in the US also get it each year.
As with many other types of mosquito bite diseases, malaria is also more common in travelers.
Malaria often spreads through the bite of the female Anopheles mosquitoes. It does so when it feeds on an infected human and then goes on to bite a non-infected person. In doing so, it injects that second individual with the malaria parasite from the first.
People who develop malaria become very sick with high fevers accompanied by chills. The other symptoms are much like those that come with the flu.
Malaria complications often arise from the P falciparum type of parasite. Cerebral malaria is one example, which can lead to an altered mental status and seizures. Some patients also fall into a coma and ultimately succumb to the protozoan.
5. Dengue Fever
Between 2010 and 2017, the CDC received a total of 5,387 dengue cases from all 50 states and DC. 40% of those who acquired the disease also required hospitalization. Dengue, after all, can be very painful, and while not always lethal, can be severe enough to be fatal.
The CDC report also showed that 97% of the dengue patients were travelers. Still, 7% of the cases were local, considering that the disease is infectious. Moreover, the mosquitoes themselves that spread the virus are common in the US.
The mode of spread is pretty much like that of malaria. In this case, the female Aedes mosquito bites a dengue virus-infected person first. Within a week, that mosquito can transmit the virus to a healthy individual.
In its mild form, dengue fever can already cause high fevers, body pains, and rashes. The more severe form, however, can result in severe bleeding. This, in turn, can lead to a sudden, massive drop in blood pressure, which can then cause shock, or worse, death.
6. Yellow Fever
Thanks to the development of a vaccine, yellow fever has become a rare disease in the US. However, people who travel to Africa or South America can contract this disease. As with most other mosquito-borne illnesses, it spreads through the insect’s bite.
The “yellow” in yellow fever refers to how the disease causes the skin to take on a yellowish hue. This change in the skin’s color results from the development of jaundice. Even the sclera of the eyes (the white part) can turn yellow.
Most people who get bitten by a virus-carrying mosquito don’t show signs of the disease. In those who do, these symptoms include fever, chills, severe headaches, and body pains. After about a week, the majority of patients get over the disease.
However, despite recovering, some people experience fatigue for several months.
Some people develop a more severe case of yellow fever. In these individuals, symptoms are more common, including high fever and jaundice. Left untreated, the disease can lead to bleeding, followed by shock and organ failure.
Untreated severe yellow fever is fatal, with a mortality risk of up to 50%.
7. Zika Virus
The first known Zika virus cases occurred between 2000 and 2014. It was in 2016, however, when the US had a huge spike of infections, with the CDC receiving 5,168 reports. Fortunately, the numbers continued to drop, with 2019 only having 22 reported instances.
Zika Virus remains a notifiable disease in the US, though. It is, after all, an infection that can cause congenital disorders in infants. These malformations can occur if their mothers have contracted the disease during pregnancy.
In addition, the Zika Virus can result in pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage. Infected kids and adults also have a higher risk of neuropathy and myelitis.
Zika virus transmission occurs primarily through Aedes mosquito bites. These are the same species that spread the dengue virus.
8. Chikungunya Disease
As with Zika and dengue, the Chikungunya virus also gets spread via the Aedes mosquito. The first report of the virus in the West occurred in 2013.
Most people who get infected with Chikungunya exhibit symptoms like fever and aches. Some people may also feel arthritic-like pains, rashes, and headaches. Most patients get better within a week, but the pains in the joints can become chronic.
Chikungunya disease is rarely fatal, but the symptoms it brings can be debilitating. Some people, such as older adults (65 years and above) are also at a higher risk of more severe cases. It can also be more dangerous in people with heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension.
Anything You Can Do To Prevent Mosquito Diseases?
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. As such, you’d want to get rid of any water-filled containers out on your lawn or near your home.
To keep enjoying the outdoors without getting bite-ridden, regularly apply mosquito repellent. Don’t miss the back of your neck, knees, and ankles, as these are prime targets. Don light-colored clothes, too, as dark ones appear to attract them.
Also, note that like dog ticks and fleas, mosquitoes can also bite your furry family member. Certain species of mosquitoes can also infect dogs with heartworms. That’s all the more reason to keep your home free of these dangerous buzzers.
Keep Your Home Free of Disease-Causing Mosquitoes
As you can see, there are too many mosquito diseases to consider these insects as mere “nuisance.” While most people who get them recover fully, they can persist in many others. That’s why it’s super important to prevent them from invading the inside of your home.
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