Diseases Mosquitoes Carry

  • Malaria: The bite of an Anopheles mosquito transmits malaria. They invade the red blood cells and cause the specific chill/sweat process. In the 1930s, more than six million cases of malaria occurred in the USA. The use of DDT played a significant role in decreasing mosquito populations. According to CDS, about 1,500 cases are found in the USA, mostly from travelers or immigrants from tropical countries. Worldwide, it continues to be a problem.
  • Encephalitis: Encephalitis may lead to death or disability by swelling brain tissues. Many viruses cause it; mosquitoes transmit some of these viruses. It is sometimes referred to as a "sleeping sickness" in humans.
    • Eastern Encephalitis (EEE) occurs primarily in horses, in areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts (with a few isolated cases in the Midwest). In human diagnosed cases (mainly small children), mortality rates could be 75%, and many recovers have damaged nervous systems. Aedes vvexans, Aedes sollictians, and Mansoinia perturbans are possible transmitters.
    • St.Loius Encephalitis (SLE). The SLE is less severe encephalitis than Eastern Encephalitis, with mortality rate lower and less frequent permanent neurological damage. Fatalities occur in most people over 60 years old. The species Culex pipiiens is the vector in urban areas.
    • Western Encephalitis (WE)-The western encephalitis is found over the western two-thirds of the USA. The mortality rate is low, but small children are most likely to suffer from permanent damage. In horses, the mortality rate may reach thirty percent.
    • California Encephalitis (CE) This is much less severe encephalitis, with mortality rate rare. Many cases of CE are not even diagnosed. It was first isolated in California but has moved to the Midwest. The Aedes triseriatus, which breeds in tree holes, is a vector.
    • West Nile Virus (WNV) is encephalitis first documented in 1999. Infected birds transmit the West Nile Virus to mosquitoes. The Culex pipiens (northern and southern house mosquitoes) are responsible for many transmissions to humans. Fortunately, most infected humans do not have symptoms. Medical attention is needed in only 1‐3% of infected people; less than 1% develop encephalitis. Those with a weak immune system, and the elderly have higher risks of symptoms.
  • Zika Virus: The Aedes mosquito is currently responsible for transmitting this virus. This mosquito bites during the day time. This virus is relatively mild in its symptoms (fever, conjunctivitis, joint pain, joint pain), without a required hospital visit. Even with its mild symptoms, it does cause birth defects such as fetal brain defects and microcephaly. In May of 2015, the first confirmed infection occurred in Brazil.
  • Other Diseases: All strains of dengue and yellow fever can be transmitted by Ae. aeypti, Ae. albopictus. mosquitoes. Filarial worms causing elephantiasis comes from infected bites (bites from the southern house mosquito). The Asian tiger mosquito also
  • EPA‐Mosquito Control
  • CDC‐Zika Virus

Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.

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