Mosquitoes are some of the most dangerous creatures on earth. All over the world, they transmit serious diseases like those described below.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 212 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2015. Close to 430,000 people, most of them children in Asia and Africa, died from the illness.
Malaria is transmitted by the Anopheles mosquito, and it affects red blood cells. Complications include high fever, chills and other flu-like symptoms.
The CDC reported 1,500 cases of malaria in the U.S. in 2015. Most patients were bitten and infected while traveling in foreign countries, but malaria can be acquired through blood transfusions, organ transplants and the sharing of needles and syringes. If a pregnant woman is infected, she can pass the disease to her baby.
There is no vaccine for Zika virus, and it spread rapidly to countries all around the globe between 2015 and 2016. Several cases were reported in Texas and Florida, and the mosquitoes that transmitted the virus were native to those areas.
Most people who are infected don’t become ill or have only mild symptoms. Fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes are common complaints.
However, Zika alarms health professionals for two reasons: It can be sexually transmitted, and it can cause birth defects or brain damage in the newborns of infected mothers. It has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome, an illness of the nervous system.
West Nile Virus
Fortunately, only around 1 in 5 infected people gets sick from this virus. Those who do become ill experience body aches, joint pain, vomiting, rash and other symptoms. Weakness and fatigue can linger for months. About 1 percent of patients develop serious or fatal illnesses like meningitis or encephalitis.
WNV is transmitted by mosquitoes that fed on infected birds. It was first detected in North America in 1999, and it has been a threat throughout the contiguous U.S. There is no vaccine.
Protecting Your Home and Family
For mosquitoes, the most attractive thing about your property is standing water. That’s where they breed, and taking these steps will discourage them:
• Make sure that gutters are draining properly.
• Turn over unused buckets and flower pots.
• Fill in depressions in your lawn.
• Get a trash can with a tight-fitting lid.
• Store unused tires in a dry place like the garage. If you hang a tire swing, drill holes in the bottom for drainage.
MosquitoNix of Charleston is committed to helping families avoid mosquitoes and stay healthy. Our safe, effective misting solutions have been in use for more than 20 years. Call us today for a free estimate.