Not only are they annoying, itchy and sometimes painful, mosquito bites can also be extremely dangerous. In fact, tiny mosquitoes are considered to be the deadliest animal in the world. Several varieties of mosquitoes, such as Asian Tiger, Northern House, Culex and Aedes, can be carriers for dozens of diseases. Because of this, a mosquito can be much more dangerous to the health of your family than it’s size indicates.
Although most mosquito bites are safe and do little harm, the risk comes with the few that are carrying diseases. Some of the most common viruses carried by mosquitoes include:
West Nile Virus
When mosquitoes bite birds infected with this virus, they can pass it on to humans and animals that they bite. Currently there is no vaccine for the virus, but the good news is that only 30% of people who contract the West Nile Virus develop symptoms. Symptoms include rash, fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, joint pain, and diarrhea. A tiny percentage of people may develop a neurological illness that can cause seizures, paralysis, or even coma.
This virus is carried by some mosquitoes and transferred to humans. Pregnant women should be particularly careful as this virus may cause birth defects. This virus does not currently have a vaccine. Symptoms include rash, fever and chills, joint pain, eye redness, loss of appetite, headache, vomiting, sweating, fatigue, and muscle pain.
Likely originating in Africa, Malaria is a parasite transmitted by mosquitoes, usually in tropical or subtropical climates. More than a million deaths are still reported each year worldwide due to this disease. Symptoms include high fever, shaking chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, convulsions, muscle pain, and other serious symptoms. Vaccines and other anti-malarial measures are available in areas where it is a common problem. Most cases of malaria in the United States are brought back by people who have been visiting places in the world where the disease is more prevalent.
The Chikungunya virus only recently appeared in the Americas on the Caribbean islands. Since then, infected travelers have then transported the virus to new areas. Currently no vaccine is available for the Chikungunya virus. Symptoms consist of headache, fever, joint pain, muscle pain, rash, fatigue, abdominal pain, chills, and pain in the back of the eyes.
Originating in the tropics and now affecting the southern parts of the United States, Dengue Fever doesn’t have an available vaccine. Symptoms of this virus include high fever and chills, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, easy bruising, headache, sore throat, and pain in the joints, abdomen, back, muscles, bones, or behind the eyes.
See Also: 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Mosquitoes
Several varieties of encephalitis are carried by birds and then contracted by mosquitoes. St. Louis Encephalitis, LaCrosse Encephalitis, and Equine Encephalitis are all responsible for approximately 100 cases of the disease each year. No vaccine exists for this virus. Symptoms are flu-like and minimal in mild cases. People with severe cases may exhibit symptoms such as muscle weakness or pain, problems with coordination, fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, appetite loss, mental confusion or seizures.
Keeping your family safe from these serious diseases means arranging for home mosquito control and protection on your property. Remove standing water, maintain the integrity of vents and screens, and make use of personal mosquito repellent with DEET. To have the best opportunity for protection, contact a professional mosquito control company for help.
For mosquito control in Houston, Cypress Creek Pest Control provides services to more than 800 communities, cities, towns, and businesses in the Houston area. Contact us today for residential or commercial mosquito control.