Due to the various diseases mosquitoes carry, taking steps to reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites is important.
Are you hoping to live free of mosquito bites? Here are a number of tips you can use to avoid being bitten.
Worried about mosquitoes? Get a FREE mosquito inspection of your home.
The itchy, red bumps on your skin that commonly follow mosquito bites are actually considered “allergic” reactions.
The proteins found in the salvia of mosquitoes are known to cause both immediate and delayed allergic reactions that result in the typical symptoms associated with mosquito bites (swelling, itchiness, redness).
Severe allergic reactions (hives, wheezing, etc.) or anaphylaxis from mosquito bites have been documented but they are extremely rare occurrences.
Worldwide, mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths annually than any other living creature. There are a number of dangerous diseases that can be contracted via mosquito bites that you should be aware of in the United States.
Listed below are 3 common mosquito-transmitted diseases in the U.S.
A potentially serious illness, West Nile Virus, or WNV, is believed to be a seasonal epidemic in North America, flaring up in the summer annually. The disease is most commonly spread via the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected after they feed on birds infected with WNV.
West Nile Virus first garnered the attention of the national media after an outbreak in New York City in 1999 resulted in 7 deaths. The number of cases reported each year continues to rise with the state of Texas, most recently, reporting the highest number of WNV human cases and deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between 80-100 La Crosse encephalitis cases are reported every year. The majority of cases have been reported in the northern Midwestern states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio.
However, in recent years cases have been reported in eastern and southern U.S. states. Severe cases of La Crosse encephalitis are most common with children under the age of 16.
From 1964-2009, an average of 100 human cases of St. Louis encephalitis have been reported in the United States. SLE cases are most commonly reported in the late summer and early fall. The principle vectors of the disease are Culex species mosquitoes.
In 1975, almost 2,000 cases of St. Louis encephalitis were reported with the majority of the cases reported in central U.S. states. Since 1975, the disease has not followed an endemic pattern.
Most human cases produce no symptoms or result in non-specific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and fatigue.
In severe cases, viral infection may invade the brain and central nervous system resulting in a variety of neurological disorders including disorientation, tremors, seizures and neurological damage or impairment.
If you believe you are experiencing these symptoms and/or believe you have contracted a mosquito-borne disease, please seek medical care immediately.