Mosquito Borne Diseases

mosquito biteAre you worried about the mosquitoes plaguing your home and family? Although most people are annoyed by itchy mosquito bites, mosquitoes can carry viruses that can cause serious complications in many people. Many people may initially think about diseases like malaria or yellow fever, which are more common in other countries. However, there are still serious mosquito spread illnesses in the United States. Learn about five diseases that affect people in the Mid-Atlantic region.

The West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is spread through infected mosquitoes. According to the CDC most people who are infected will not have any symptoms, but about 1 in 5 will develop a fever, while 1% will end up a serious sometimes fatal illness. There is not vaccine or treatment available for treatment of the West Nile Virus.

Zika Virus

The Zika Virus is new to the United States. Although the initial symptoms are mild and generally resolve on their own, Zika has been shown to be dangerous to pregnant women because it can cause birth defects. The Zika virus is also considered a sexually transmitted disease.

Saint Louis Encephalitis

Saint Louise Encephalitis (SEL) is a disease that is primarily found in the eastern and central United States. Symptoms of SEL include tiredness, fever, headache and nausea. Encephalitis can develop, and older adults are more at risk of developing complications.

La Crosse Encephalitis

La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) occurs in the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states. Although many people who are infected develop no symptoms, an infection may cause severe neuroinvasive disease and encephalitis. Those most at risk are children under 16 years old.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Eastern Equine Encephalitis is one of the most serious mosquito borne illnesses in the United States. Although many people experience no symptoms, the CDC reports a 33% mortality rate and significant brain damage in most survivors of a severe case of EEE.

You can prevent mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and pants and liberally applying insect repellent. You may also want to stay inside when mosquitoes are most active. However, there are steps that you can take to give you the freedom to enjoy your yard in the evening and the summer months.

  1. Make sure to keep your yard clear of standing water. Look for buckets and gardening tools that may collect standing water. Also check your yard for areas where stagnant water may collect and work to remedy the issue.
  2. Consider buying mosquito repellent candles or fans to help prevent mosquitoes from gathering around your guests. These are not as effective as using insect repellent.
  3. Hire a mosquito control expert to look for problem area and spray your yard for mosquitoes around your home. Treatments in the summer can allow you to start enjoying the outdoors again.

Doing your best to prevent mosquito bites can help you avoid the annoying itch and protect yourself and your family from the serious risks associated with mosquito borne illnesses. A few simple steps can help you enjoy the outdoors again while protecting yourself and your family.