Mosquito-borne Diseases

Mosquito-Borne Disease Facts

mosquito-borne disease

There is a lot we don’t think about when it comes to pests and mosquito-borne disease is one of those things. Here are some facts to help you learn more.

  • In the United States, there are 200 species of mosquitos. Of those, there are 12 that transmit illness.
  • You can’t tell the difference between mosquitos, so it is always good to protect yourself and family.
  • Only female mosquitos bite.
  • Female mosquitos need one blood meal in order to lay eggs, she can lay up to 1000 eggs in her 7-10 day lifespan.
  • Mosquito eggs can be dormant for up to 10 years in all weather types. In order to hatch, they need stagnant water.

Common Mosquito-Borne Disease Types

There are many different pathogens that can be transmitted by mosquitos. In the Unites States there are some diseases much more common than others. There are also some that exist other countries, but not here. Below is a short list of the more common illnesses transmitted by mosquitos in the United States.

West Nile Virus

This infection is cycled between birds and mosquitos and then transmitted to mammals, yes we humans are mammals. Most cases of West Nile occur from a mosquito at night in the mid-summer months. Symptoms are very similar to those of a flu, with severe cases being potentially fatal.

Dengue

This mosquito-borne disease is one that is becoming more and more common due to adaptation abilities of the species that transfer it. With four strains of dengue out there, it is fatal if infected with more than one serotype. Symptoms include fever and headache followed by belly pain, vomiting, bleeding from gums, and tiredness.

Chikungunya

When infected, the person experiences excruciating joint pain that may last for several weeks. There is no vaccine and primary treatment is limited to pain medication. In addition to the joint pain, other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

Zika Virus

This is typically transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito of two different species. These species often bite on lower extremities. Zika virus is usually mild with a fever, rash or joint pain but can last months. Also, Zika virus can cause a birth defect of head and brain size that is life threatening.

Heartworm in pets

Dogs, cats and other animals can get infected with this life threatening disease when they have been bitten by a mosquito that is carrying the roundworm larvae. If the infected mosquito feeds on a human and the worm is inserted, the worms will die, however a pet is an ideal host for these worms.

To get additional information about Mosquito-borne disease, check out the CDC website.