In our last blog post, we touched heavily on mosquitoes, how they function and some of the ways that you can manage large quantities swarming your house. One of the significant concerns that we touched on was that mosquitoes are able to carry disease. As someone that may have large quantities of mosquitoes around your house, this could be a major concern for the well being and safety of you and your family.
Mosquitoes and Disease
Over the years we’ve seen many diseases surface that are said to be spread by mosquitoes. This is not something new, as mosquitoes are one of the oldest insects known to mankind. The way that female mosquitoes survive is with meals comprised of both nectar and blood meals. Since mosquitoes puncture the skin, it’s extremely easy for a mosquito carrying a disease to pass it on to the source of the blood meal. Below are a few of the most common diseases that mosquitoes are known for carrying and how you can recognize the signs and symptoms after a bite.
West Nile Virus
One of the most common diseases that mosquitoes are known for carrying first showed up in the United States around 1999. Since then, cases have popped up across the United States, but the most well-known outbreak happened in 2002. This outbreak led to the most cases and most coverage of the disease itself.
This disease originates from Northern Uganda and has since made its way to quite a few countries. Though the number of cases has decreased, there has not been much progress in terms of a treatment. The most severe cases require hospital care and constant fluids.
Signs & Symptoms of West Nile
- Body Aches
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Neck Stiffness
- Muscle Weakness
- And more!
Signs and symptoms will vary from person to person and may change based on the severity of the case.
Another well-known disease that mosquitoes are known for carrying is Malaria. This is transmitted through the Anopheles mosquito. When these mosquitoes puncture the skin, they transmit the parasite into the host, but the parasite makes its way to the liver of the host and multiplies. At this point, the liver is infected, and the body begins to destroy the red blood cells.
This is another disease that is extremely serious and requires the assistance of medical professionals. There isn’t any one solution for this disease, making it one of the more deadly diseases that you could get from a mosquito bite. However, with early enough diagnosis, there is a chance of treating Malaria. If you notice any of the signs or symptoms of Malaria, it’s imperative that you go to a hospital as soon as possible.
Signs & Symptoms of Malaria
- Cold Shivering
- Respiratory Distress
- Abnormal Bleeding/ANemia
If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your medical professional as soon as possible.
One of the more recent mosquito-borne diseases that we’ve seen is the Zika Virus. The mosquitoes that transmit this disease are known for being out during the day — making them an even bigger concern. This disease also originated in Uganda and was first identified in the year 1947. It was first found in monkeys but was found in humans in 1952. Though this virus has been around for a while, it only made its way to the United States around 2015. Zika was able to stay under the radar for a while because of the signs and symptoms being so similar to those of the flu.
At this point, there is still no treatment available for the Zika virus. For individuals who don’t notice any signs or symptoms of the virus, it may not be until a pregnancy later on down the road that the virus is discovered in the body.
Aside from this virus being passable through pregnancy, it can also be transmitted through sexual intercourse. This is mainly a concern because of the ways that this virus can affect a pregnancy. For that reason, it’s essential that anyone with Zika virus is open and honest about whether or not they’ve been diagnosed with the virus and should communicate this to all partners that they’re intimate with.
Signs & Symptoms of Zika Virus
- Muscle & Joint Pain
These symptoms usually last anywhere between two to seven days, though many people with this infection may not see the signs or symptoms of the virus at all. The scary part of this disease is that it could be transferred during pregnancy to the fetus and lead to congenital malformations or microcephaly. There are also ties to complications during the pregnancy.
If you do notice any of these symptoms, visit your medical professional immediately.
Minimize the Chances of Disease Transmission
We’ve only just mentioned a few of the most common diseases and viruses that mosquitoes are known for transmitting, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. In our next blog post, we will touch on a few of the other diseases that have been associated with mosquitoes.
For now, the important thing is that you recognize that there are ways for you to take preventative actions with mosquitoes. From wearing bug spray to keeping them at bay to hiring a professional to provide you with a long-term solution, there are options available when it comes to avoiding these diseases that mosquitoes carry.
If you’re in need of some assistance with your pest control, you can always count on Earthwise Pest Management. We have years of experience and knowledge and can find a solution that works well for you.