June is in full swing. That means mosquitoes are out in full force. We talked a lot about mosquito prevention this year in articles, like this one, on how to prepare for mosquito season. Now, let's turn our attention to "why" it is so important to prevent mosquito bites.
Mosquito Illness From Least To Worst
1. Itchy welts
Most of the mosquitoes that bite us leave an itchy welt. While these are certainly irritating, they don't usually pose too much of a threat to our well being. It is only when mosquito bites are turned into open wounds by incessant scratching that they become a medical problem.
Often mosquito-borne diseases, even the bad ones, do not produce any symptoms at all. But infected individuals become a reservoir for the spread of these infectious diseases. So, while this is number two on our list as far as personal illness, it has a wider implication for the health of Morris County residents.
Some mosquitoes have the word fever in their name, such as dengue fever and yellow fever. But many mosquito-borne viruses can produce a fever. This may be a slight elevation or an extreme elevation that leads to intense pain. Dengue fever is often called breakbone fever because of the way this illness causes such intense pain that it feels as though the bones are breaking.
4. Flu Symptoms
West Nile, malaria, chikungunya, dengue, and many other mosquito-borne illnesses can produce flu-like symptoms including fever, sweats, body aches, headaches, nausea, and vomiting. So the next time you think you have the flu or a cold, ask yourself if you've been exposed to mosquitoes recently.
5. Brain Swelling
The medical term is encephalitis. But it is essentially a swelling of the brain. Mosquitoes are vectors for Western equine encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, and many more.
While malaria is linked to more than a million deaths in the world each year, West Nile virus is the most dangerous virus in the United States. According to the CDC, almost 44,000 cases of West Nile virus have been reported to health care professionals in the U.S. since 1999. Of those 44,000 more than 20,000 have had infections of the spinal cord and more than 1,900 people have died.
7. Birth Defects
You would think that death would be the worst mosquito consequence on our list but, sadly, it isn't. With the appearance of Zika virus in the U.S. mosquitoes are now a threat to unborn babies. When a baby is infected with Zika it can result in microcephaly. This birth defect can have an impact on an entire family for life.
Not every mosquito that bites you will make you sick, but mosquito prevention is vital for the health of our communities, our county, our state, and our country. We encourage you to take the time to learn how mosquito reduction plays a critical role in keeping America protected from deadly viruses such as Malaria. To learn about mosquito and tick control in New Jersey, give us a call today.