What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Spread?
Mosquitoes are known for spreading diseases all over the world. Each year, vector-borne diseases lead to 700,000 deaths worldwide. These diseases are more often found in tropical and subtropical climates but pose threats across the globe. These are the most common mosquito-borne diseases:
- Zika virus
- Chagas disease
- Yellow fever
- West Nile virus
- Rift Valley fever
Which Mosquitoes Are Able To Transmit Disease?
The three species of mosquitoes that pass on diseases are Aedes, Anopheles, and Culex mosquitoes. Each of these families contain multiple subspecies. Thankfully, there are lots of mosquitoes that do not transmit disease and are primarily nuisance pests. Here in Eastern and Central Virginia, we have seen cases of the Aedes mosquito.
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What Diseases Can Mosquitoes Carry in Eastern and Central Virginia?
Over 200 types of mosquitoes can be found in the United States. Only about 12 of those types are capable of transmitting diseases. The diseases that have been documented in the United States include Dengue, Zika virus, chikungunya, and malaria. Outbreaks of these diseases occurred in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Texas, and the US Virgin Islands. The majority of cases of malaria reported occur in travelers returning from tropical locations. Most types of mosquitoes that we run into in Eastern and Central Virginia are nuisance mosquitoes that do not carry the serious diseases that mosquitoes are infamous for.
Some Symptoms of Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Most mosquito bites from mosquitoes in our area will only lead to mild symptoms. So what symptoms indicate that you may have contracted something more serious? Some of the common symptoms of vector-borne diseases are:
- Sudden high fever
- Severe headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle tremors or seizures
- Stiff neck
If you notice any of these symptoms and belive them to be related to a mosquito bite, contact a medical professional.
Do Mosquitoes Spread Malaria in Virginia?
We think of malaria as a disease that primarily affects countries in other parts of the world. However, that is not entirely true. While rare, it is possible for mosquitoes to transmit malaria in the United States as well. There has been a rising number of cases in Florida and Texas, and theoretically, it could happen here in Virginia too.
Fortunately, at this present time, we have not seen cases of local malaria transmission. But an outbreak could occur with little warning. Your best course of action is to continue monitoring the situation, as health experts in Virginia are doing. In the event of a malaria outbreak, local news will cover the story and let you know if there are any additional precautions you should take.
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What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Spread? in Virginia
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