Mosquito bites really make us sick.
We all know that being bitten by mosquitoes is no fun, leaving you itchy and irritated for days. But the annoyance your family suffers from mosquitoes and other biting insects can be more than inconvenient – it can be downright deadly. Insect-borne illnesses are on the rise in the West, causing severe disease and, in some cases, much worse. Mosquito Guy wants everyone to enjoy traveling as much as their own backyard, so read up on these mosquito-borne illnesses, where they are active, and ways you can protect yourself against them.
Spread through the bite of an infected mosquito, the Zika virus is an emerging virus garnering much media-attention. Symptoms of the virus include fever, skin rash, and conjunctivitis and typically last less than a week. A connection between Zika in pregnant women and birth defects is currently being investigated.
Visit our blog for more information and the latest news on the Zika Virus.
First found in Uganda in 1937, WNV has spread globally. Its flulike symptoms include fever, headache, and body aches. More serious symptoms include disorientation, muscle weakness, neck stiffness and more. Eighty percent of West Nile cases will never display any symptoms.
With outbreaks in Africa, Asia, and Europe, the chikungunya virus was first found in the Americas in 2013 in the Caribbean. This mosquito-borne disease causes fever, joint pain, headaches, rash and swelling. There is currently no vaccine for chikungunya and travelers to affected areas are encouraged to protect themselves against mosquito bites.
Dengue Fever, a well-known mosquito-borne disease, is the leading cause of illness and death in the tropics. Over 400 million people are infected yearly with Dengue, a virus that causes high fever, headaches, nausea, and severe body aches. Travel advisories to Central America, South America, Hawaii, and the Caribbean have been removed after a spike in cases earlier this year. However, basic mosquito prevention techniques are still encouraged.
Named after the town in Connecticut in which it was first found, Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in the United States, being diagnosed in all states except Hawaii. There are nearly 30,000 cases reported by the Centers for Disease Control each year. If caught early, Lyme disease responds well to a variety of antibiotics. Unfortunately, Lyme is not the easiest disease to diagnose. The telltale bull’s eye rash is only one of the many symptoms of Lyme, which also includes fever, fatigue and joint pain.