Mosquito Diseases


West Nile Virus (WN) From the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/genquestions.html
West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
West Nile virus transmission has been documented in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, India, parts of Asia, and Australia. It was first detected in North America in 1999, and has since spread across the continental United States and Canada.
How do people get infected with West Nile virus?
Most people get infected with West Nile virus by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals.  In a very small number of cases, West Nile virus has been spread through blood transfusions, organ transplants, and from mother to baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
Who is at risk for infection with West Nile virus?
Anyone living in an area where West Nile virus is present in mosquitoes can get infected. West Nile virus has been detected in all lower 48 states (not in Hawaii or Alaska). Outbreaks have been occurring every summer since 1999. The risk of infection is highest for people who work outside or participate in outdoor activities because of greater exposure to mosquitoes.
Is there a vaccine available to protect people from West Nile virus? No. Currently there is no West Nile virus vaccine available for people. Many scientists are working on this issue, and there is hope that a vaccine will become available in the future.
For additional information on West Nile virus (WN) you can go to the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html or the Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/west-nile-virus/home/ovc-20166289 If you believe you or a family member may have West Nile virus please consult your physician or seek medical care for a proper diagnosis.

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Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
From the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/
Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Most cases occur in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states (see map). Most persons infected with EEEV have no apparent illness. Severe cases of EEE (involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, or coma. EEE is one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States with approximately 33% mortality and significant brain damage in most survivors. There is no specific treatment for EEE; care is based on symptoms. You can reduce your risk of being infected with EEEV by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors while mosquitoes are most active. If you think you or a family member may have EEE, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.
For additional information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) you can go to the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/ or Purdue University https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/diseases/mosquito/eastern.html If you believe you or a family member may have Eastern Equine Encephalitis please consult your physician or seek medical care for a proper diagnosis.
LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC) From the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/LAC/index.html
La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most cases of LACV disease occur in the upper Midwestern and mid-Atlantic and southeastern states (see map). Many people infected with LACV have no apparent symptoms. Among people who become ill, initial symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Some of those who become ill develop severe neuroinvasive disease (disease that affects the nervous system). Severe LACV disease often involves encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) and can include seizures, coma, and paralysis. Severe disease occurs most often in children under the age of 16. In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result from La Crosse encephalitis. There is no specific treatment for LACV infection-- care is based on symptoms. If you or a family member have symptoms of severe LACV disease or any symptoms causing you concern, consult a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.
The best way to reduce your risk of infection with LACV or other mosquito-borne viruses is to prevent mosquito bites. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks or even stay indoors while mosquitoes are most active. The mosquitoes that spread LACV are most active during the daytime.
For additional information on La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) you can go to the Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/LAC/index.html or Purdue University https://extension.entm.purdue.edu/publichealth/diseases/mosquito/eastern.html If you believe you or a family member may have Eastern Equine Encephalitis please consult your physician or seek medical care for a proper diagnosis.
Other Mosquito-borne illnesses include:
Dog Heartworm
Malaria
Dengue
Yellow fever
St. Louis encephalitis

 

Mosquito Facts

The Truth about Mosquitoes

Do mosquitoes carry diseases for humans and animals?
Mosquitoes are very capable carriers of diseases for both humans and animals. The mosquito is the most deadly insect of all due to its ability to carry malaria. Malaria is estimated to be responsible for over 500,000 deaths worldwide annually. Here in the state of Georgia we have a number of diseases that are delivered to you and animals by the annoying mosquito. In Georgia we have West Nile Virus (WN), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC). Other Mosquito-borne illnesses include: Zika, St. Louis Encephalitis, Dog Heartworm, Malaria, Dengue and Yellow Fever. (http://www.mosquito.org/faq)

Do Bug Zappers Kill Mosquitoes?
While zappers do kill a large number of insects and make noises, studies have found that most of them are moths and beetles, and less than 7 percent are mosquitoes. In fact, yards with zappers typically have no fewer mosquitoes than yards without zappers. (University of Notre Dame Study) http://www.mosquito.org/faq

What is the deadliest pest in the world?
 Mosquitoes are considered the deadliest pest in the world. The Anopheles mosquito, in particular, is dangerous because it transmits malaria, which kills more than one million people every year, primarily in Africa. The Anopheles mosquito is found in Georgia.

Do electronic Mosquito repellers work?
Researchers have consistently found that these devices have absolutely no effect on mosquitoes at all. They don't repel, attract or in any way change mosquito behavior or affect the number in a given area. http://www.mosquito.org/faq

Are purple martins voracious mosquito predators?
Ornithologist James Hill, founder of the Purple Martin Conservation Association (PMCA), writes, "The number of mosquitoes that martins eat is extremely insignificant, and they certainly don't control them. In-depth studies have shown that mosquitoes comprise no more than 0 to 3 percent of the diet of martins". They eat only flying insects, which they catch in flight. http://www.mosquito.org/faq

Do Mosquitoes bite in the day time?
Yes Mosquitoes bite in the day time and also at night. Some species, like the Aedes are daytime biters, while others, like Culex, start biting at dusk and continue a few hours into dark.

Will Deet kill mosquitoes and is DEET Safe?
No. DEET is considered the 'gold standard' of mosquito repellents, but does not kill them or stop them from breeding. Endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DEET doesn't mask the smell of the host or jam the insect's senses. Mosquitoes simply don't like it, because it smells bad to them. A product containing 10 percent DEET can protect you for up to 90 minutes. DEET can be used on children as young at 2 months of age and pregnant women. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-other-arthropods

What are mosquitoes’ natural predators?
The two main mosquito predators are fish and dragonflies. Gambusia, or mosquitofish, feed on mosquito larvae and are used all over the world to help control mosquito populations. Dragonfly larvae, called nymphs, eat mosquito larvae, and adult dragonflies prey on adult mosquitoes. Some towns in Maine release dragonflies every summer as a natural form of mosquito control.

How fast and how far can a mosquito fly?
Mosquitoes can't fly very far or very fast. Most mosquitoes can fly no more than about one to three miles, and often stay within several hundred feet of where they were hatched. However, a few salt marsh species can travel up to 40 miles. The top speed for a mosquito is about 1.5 miles per hour. Mosquitoes are often blown many miles by the winds.