In the continental United States and US territories, there are about 200 different species of mosquitoes; roughly 12 different species transmit pathogens that might harm humans. Other mosquitoes are labeled nuisance mosquitoes because they annoy people. In general, bothersome mosquitoes do not transmit disease. Protecting oneself is crucial because you can’t always distinguish which mosquitoes are a potential source of infectious diseases. One of the most common in the United States is the West Nile virus.
What is West Nile Virus?
It is possible you won’t experience any symptoms if you are bitten by a mosquito carrying this virus. However, some patients have a fever, joint discomfort, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash. Watch out for uncommon side effects, including meningitis or encephalitis, which are brain infections. The disease, which affects all states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii, has no vaccine.
Other Disease Concerns
A mosquito bite from an infected mosquito can transmit the La Crosse virus to humans. The majority of virus-infected individuals do not exhibit any symptoms. Some individuals may get serious illnesses like encephalitis (brain inflammation). Children under the age of 16 are most frequently affected by severe disease. The majority of instances are found in the upper Midwestern, mid-Atlantic, and southern states.
Jamestown Canyon virus infection affects a lot of people who show no symptoms.
The interval between a mosquito bite and first experiencing symptoms for those who have them is between a few days and two weeks. Fever, exhaustion, and headache are common early signs. Some individuals experience respiratory symptoms, including a cough, sore throat, or runny nose. The Jamestown Canyon virus can cause severe illnesses like encephalitis or meningitis.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
Avoid overgrown outdoor spaces, places where the ground is constantly moist, and other places where mosquitoes are more common. When mosquitoes are most active in the mornings and nights, avoid mosquito-prone locations or use additional protection, such as insect repellent.
Using an insect repellent that contains DEET or another component that has been approved by the EPA, such as picaridin, permethrin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, is a good line of defense. Choose an appropriate ingredient for your activities and the presence of mosquitoes because different substances’ efficacy varies. You will also want to check to ensure you do not react to whatever formula you choose.
To prevent mosquito bites, put on shoes, socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. This might not be feasible during the heat of the summer. In those cases, apply repellent throughout your time outside to ensure continued protection. Light-colored clothing, rather than dark, is suggested, and be mindful to eliminate any standing water, if possible, in the area you are in.
It’s essential to take precautions against diseases that mosquitoes spread. It’s possible to have a moderate, transient disease or (rarely) a severe or long-term illness after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Severe cases of diseases spread by mosquitoes can be fatal. Protecting yourself and your loved ones is essential.