The Disease Mosquitoes Can Cause
August 27, 2018
August 27, 2018
The diseases mosquitoes can cause are many, but these are the ones you most need to know about. Transmitting them across continents sometimes, these pests can do a lot of damage if left unchecked. Luckily, a mosquito bite isn’t very likely to kill you. Here’s the breakdown.
The Diseases Mosquitoes Can Cause
It’s scary to think that something so common as mosquito could land you in an urgent care center, but the possibility is there. Luckily, cases of mosquito born diseases are few and far between, but they are something we must consider as the bugs infest our lives. Everyone’s least favorite animal, mosquitoes are more than just bloodsuckers.
We’ve discussed bugs and what they can do to you before, but it seemed important that mosquitoes get some time to shine. Why? Because they interact with something so dangerous: blood. While it is vital to our life, blood was not made to be transported. While this occurs mostly in doctors offices, where it can be controlled, it’s still scary. When something like a mosquito enters the ecosystem, a lot of damage can be done. How and what diseases mosquitoes transmit are important things to be aware of, especially if you’re seeing a lot of them.
The Facts About Mosquito Born Diseases
Did you know that humans are the most deadly animal on earth? More than 475,000 humans die as the result of another human each year. So, what’s first?
If you guessed mosquito, you’d be correct. Mosquitoes kill over 700,000 people year over year. And they don’t stop there: mosquitoes can also infect many different kinds of animals, including dogs, cats, and other household pets. For such a small thing, they are absolutely frightening. They are able to carry blood borne disease from person to person, or animal to animal, because of their digestion of the blood. Mosquitoes recognize the harmful part of the blood, and are able to “chop off” any unwanted DNA. This makes them particularly dangerous, especially as they can travel between continents in their short life span.
In the uses, there are around 5,000 cases of mosquito born illness each year, few of which result in death. This makes us one of the luckier countries, though we should still feel threatened. When mosquitoes are nearby, so, too, is danger.
Diseases Mosquitoes Can Transmit
There are four main diseases to be concerned about with mosquitoes: West Nile, malaria, chikungunya, and Zika.
The West Nile virus is the most common in the US. It’s hard to spot, as 4 out of 5 people infected with the disease are asymptomatic. Some people may develop a light infection, only to have worse symptoms develop in later years of their life. Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, and fatigue, as well as skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, and eye pain.
Malaria is often discussed in today’s world, mostly considered a disease of third world countries. However, several hundred cases are reported in the US each year, mostly as a result of mosquito bites. Malaria is typified by shaking chills that range from a slight shiver to uncontrollable, and a deep, hard to cope with fever. The disease is deadly, and many people use protective drugs when traveling to potentially infected areas as a result.
Chikungunya virus is lesser known, but wide spread, especially in California. Reported cases have dropped significantly in recent years, but this flu-like African virus is not to be forgotten.
Finally, you likely know Zika. The medical craze of 2015, this disease cause birth defects, brain damage, and often death. Doctors are still researching it, looking to advance in treating it.
Preventing Mosquito Born Disease
Preventing mosquito bites, as I’m sure you know, is nearly impossible. There are a few things we can do to lessen our risk, though. The first is to cover up with light colored clothing, which should leave the mosquitoes looking elsewhere for a bite to eat. Make sure there is no standing water in your home, as that will also attract mosquitoes, and keep any water you do have (like a pool) moving. Keep screen doors on your home, and use a net if sleeping outside. You might also try never going outside, though it isn’t recommended.
You can also try the five t’s of mosquito control:
Tip any standing water every few days to empty and refill the container.
Toss any accumulation of waste and garbage, as it could become a breeding ground.
Turn anything else that might have water pool up in it.
Remove tarps, as bugs might become trapped in them.
Treat your house with a mosquito barrier.