Floridians have to be on the lookout for a variety of pests, especially mosquitoes. These insects can not only leave people with itchy bites but also transmit diseases through them. Below, we’ll give a quick overview of five common diseases.
Malaria is a blood disease caused by the transmission of parasites in the mosquito. Thanks to modern medicine, it has declined in the U.S. but remains a threat in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Make no mistake: mosquitoes carrying malaria are still alive and breeding in this country. If you’re infected, you might experience fever, cold sweats, vomiting, and headaches; if your immune system is weak, the symptoms can extend to respiratory problems and even liver and kidney failure.
This condition, caused by the transmission of a virus in the mosquito, is predominantly found in the subtropical regions of South America and Africa. Symptoms can range from a minor fever to liver disease. There’s no treatment for yellow fever, but vaccines are available.
Those who are infected with the dengue virus experience fever, rash, and headaches. Most of the time, recovery from dengue fever is possible after a couple weeks, but the condition can worsen and develop into what’s called dengue shock syndrome. Mainly affecting children, it’s characterized by abdominal pain and even internal hemorrhaging. Though the mosquitoes carrying this virus can be found anywhere in the world, reports of infection are most numerous in the Caribbean region and the Pacific Islands.
West Nile Fever
The West Nile virus was discovered relatively recently – in 1999 – and continues to pose a threat in North America, Europe, Australia, and parts of Asia and Africa. One in five people who are infected with the virus will show symptoms; they can include anything from fever and headaches to muscle pain to swollen lymph glands. Recovery usually takes a few weeks, but there may be long-term effects like continued fatigue. Should the virus reach the brain, it can result in encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, and meningitis.
Zika Virus Disease
As with the conditions listed above, the Zika virus can lead to flu-like symptoms, rash, and other pain, usually in the joints. It can be especially harmful to unborn children, affecting their brain and causing them to be born with a smaller than normal head (a condition called microcephaly). From 2015 to 2016, we saw a Zika virus epidemic around South and Central America and the Caribbean region, and mosquitoes carrying the virus can be found in the U.S. as well.
Keeping mosquitoes from biting you can sometimes be as simple as spraying insect repellant or lighting a citronella candle while hosting events in your backyard. However, when there are too many mosquitoes for comfort, call MosquitoNix for extermination. We’ll provide a free quote for service!