When you get a mosquito bite, you might only think about it being itchy. Actually, these little insects have the potential to be pretty harmful. There is a list of adverse symptoms from bites, including headaches, fever, joint pain, and body aches – symptoms similar to the flu!
In more severe cases of a mosquito bite, you can even get encephalitis, or inflammation in the brain. There have been thousands of cases around the world that have led to coma and death. It might sound surprising to people that deal with mosquitoes every day or live around or in mosquito-infested areas.
Mosquito bites are commonly linked to a few illnesses around the world, including:
Usually, when you get Chikungunya Virus, it’s because you live in places like Africa or Asia. However, travelers that visit these countries are also occasionally infected with Chikungunya Virus because of a mosquito bite.
In 2014, at least 12 people living in Florida, who hadn’t traveled, were infected with this virus. Just because you “usually” get it in Africa and Asia, doesn’t mean it’s the only place it appears.
This nasty illness kills more than 22,000 people every year in subtropical climates, like South America. According to the CDC, the most common symptoms include body aches, fever, and headaches, all of which can become fatal. There is no cure for Dengue Fever.
You’ve probably heard about the West Nile Virus over the years. It first gained media attention in 1999. Today, it’s still one of the most prevalent mosquito bite illnesses in the United States. Since 2014, thousands of cases have been reported. Out of those, hundreds of people died from West Nile Virus. Every year the stats get higher and higher. Maricopa County and State health workers monitor the mosquito population and dead birds to track viruses the insects’ carry.
West Nile is particularly nasty because it can cause meningitis, encephalitis, and even death.
Once upon a time, Yellow Fever was common in the United States. The creation of a vaccine, over 60 years ago, has helped control the prevalence here. Other locations, like Africa and South America, still see the disease today. Every year, there are around 200,000 cases of Yellow Fever in these areas, and approximately 30,000 people die.
During the past few years, Zika has gained media attention. The CDC even warns travelers to avoid going to areas that have higher risks of Zika infected mosquitoes. Zika mosquitoes bite during the day and at night. The disease can pass from a pregnant woman to her fetus. There is no vaccine or medication to cure Zika.
According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, you will find Zika in more than 60 countries. However, it is not in Arizona yet.
Chikungunya, Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Zika are almost always transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Several types of mosquitoes can carry other diseases, including Rift Valley, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and West Nile.
It’s not just humans getting sick and dying. Mosquitoes can infect equine with Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) or Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE). In fact, the mortality rate for EEE and WEE are considered to be two of the most dangerous and prevalent mosquito bite diseases.
Mosquitoes like warm weather and still water. This can include swimming pools, ponds, swamps, lakes, standing water, and even a bird bath. Mosquitoes aren’t particular about the chemicals or the depth of the water. For example, one type of mosquito only needs an inch of standing water to lay its eggs!
If you notice mosquitos in or around your house, call Budget Brothers. A mosquito bite isn’t just an annoying itch; it could lead to something much more serious.