Texas is known for the mosquitoes that favor the warm humid area. These severe obnoxious insects can clear out backyard fun and make any outdoor activity unbearable. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are more of a health threat than a nuisance. The likelihood of getting a disease, bacteria contagion or a virus is high enough that people should be aware of the common mosquito-borne illnesses spread to animals and people. Today, we at A-Tex Pest Management would like to share briefly the diseases mosquitoes can spread nationwide for your awareness.
Mosquito-Borne Diseases in the U.S.
Zika Virus: The first mosquito-borne sexually transmitted disease or infection that has been known to cause birth defects is the Zika Virus. During pregnancy, a Zika infection can cause birth defects to the brain such as microcephaly and other severe brain defects. Additionally, issues that Zika is linked to include miscarriage, stillbirth, and other birth defects. In areas affected by Zika, there are also increased reports of an uncommon sickness to the nervous system known as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Zika is typically spread by infected Aedes species mosquito, which is typically concentrated in tropical and subtropical zones but is recently found in all areas except Antarctica. These mosquitoes will bite in both day and night hours. For now, there is no vaccine or medication for Zika. Most who get Zika don’t demonstrate symptoms and if they do they are mild. Symptoms can include fever, rash, headaches, red eyes, joint and muscle pain. Only 1 in 5 people will have these symptoms. Symptoms can last a few days to a week.
West Nile Virus: Since 1999, the West Nile virus (WNV) has been in the U.S. and in 2002, it has been in Texas. There have not been any cases of a person contracting the virus through everyday contact with an infected individual though there are records of people contracting the disease through organ transplants and blood transfusions. There are three different gradations of WNV that include West Nile Virus, West Nile Fever, and West Nile Nuroinvasive Disease. The gradation of the virus is referred to as the West Nile virus is the one most people contract and 90% of those that do will not display any symptoms. West Nile fever, contracted by about 20% of the population will have symptoms that include nausea, headache, fever, and possible rash. Being much like the flu, most people think they have the typical flu when they are infected with West Nile fever. West Nile Nuroinvasive Disease is the most severe case and it includes encephalitis, meningitis, and meningoencephalitis.. This only contracts in about 1% of the population and the symptoms are more severe which can lead to coma, paralysis and even death.
Encephalitis: Via mosquitoes, West Nile, St. Louis, Japanese, La Crosse, Western Equine and Eastern Equine, there are various forms of viral encephalitis transmitted. From mild flu-like illness to severe brain inflammation that can cause death, the symptoms of encephalitis range.
Malaria: The vectors of malaria, are found in some areas of Texas by Anopheles mosquitoes. There have been isolated instances where human reservoirs from other countries temporarily provided a source of malaria infection to local residents
Dengue: In recent years has become a major international public health concern Dengue is found in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in urban and peri-urban areas. There are 4 distinct viruses that cause dengue that is closely related.
Yellow Fever: Loss of appetite, fever, headache, vomiting, and backache are the initial symptoms. The pulse slows and weakens as the disease progresses. Most patients improve, and their symptoms disappear after 3-4 days. Within 24 hours, however, about 15% of cases enter a toxic phase. Bleeding of the gums and bloody urine, as well as potentially leading to delirium, seizures, and coma are characterized in this phase. Jaundice can also occur early on, which is why it is referenced as yellow fever.