What Diseases Can I Get From Mosquitos?

What Diseases Can I Get From Mosquitos?



What Diseases Do Mosquitos Carry?

Mosquitos carry several diseases that can be caused from viruses or parasites. They can transmit diseases to humans and other animals. The severity of illness depends on the disease.

Diseases that mosquitos carry include the following:

  • West Nile virus
  • Malaria
  • Zika virus
  • Chikungunya virus
  • Dengue
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • Rift Valley Fever
  • Yellow Fever Virus

West Nile Virus

The virus can range anywhere from moderate to severe. It has been detected in 48 of the 50 states. The symptoms can show up anywhere from 2-14 days after getting bit by an infected mosquito.

  • Mild Symptoms
    • Headache
    • Fever
    • Pain
    • Fatigue
  • Severe Symptoms
    • Meningitis
    • Encephalitis
    • Irreversible neurological damage
    • Paralysis
    • Coma
    • Death
  • Transmission
    • The peak months of transmission in Florida is July through September.

Mother applying insect repellent to her daughter before forest hike beautiful summer day. Protecting children from biting insects at summer. Using bug spray. Active leisure with kids.

Malaria

Malaria can only be transmitted through an infected mosquito. People do not have to worry about person-to-person contact. Around 219 million people worldwide each year get infected with Malaria.

  • Symptoms
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Sweating
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Headache
  • Prevention
    • The best way to prevent mosquito borne illnesses is to prevent mosquito bites. Ways to prevent mosquito bites include:
      • Take appropriate precautions such as wearing long sleeve shirts and pants. 
      • Bug repellent should also be applied to prevent bites.
      •  Remaining indoors and/or in a screened air-conditioned area to prevent bites is also advised. 
      • It is also advised to drain any standing water, if possible, to prevent mosquitos from multiplying. 

Travelers visiting other countries with a risk of mosquito borne illnesses should contact their medical provider for suggested tips. If a person thinks they might have gotten infected with a disease from a mosquito, they should seek immediate medical treatment. 

Summary:

  • Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Mosquitoes can transmit various diseases caused by viruses or parasites to humans and animals.
  • List of Diseases: Diseases carried by mosquitoes include West Nile virus, Malaria, Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, Dengue, St. Louis Encephalitis, Rift Valley Fever, and Yellow Fever Virus.
  • West Nile Virus: Ranges from mild to severe, with symptoms like headache, fever, and pain. Severe cases can lead to meningitis, encephalitis, paralysis, and death. Peak transmission in Florida is July through September.
  • Malaria: Transmitted exclusively through infected mosquitoes, causing symptoms like fever, chills, and nausea/vomiting. Prevention involves avoiding mosquito bites, using repellent, and draining standing water.
  • Prevention Strategies: To prevent mosquito-borne illnesses, individuals should take precautions like wearing protective clothing, using bug repellent, staying indoors in screened areas, and eliminating standing water. Travelers to high-risk areas should consult their medical provider, and prompt medical attention is crucial if infection is suspected.

This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.

There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.

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