World Mosquito Day: Creating Awareness About Mosquito- Borne Illnesses
Did you know that the 20th day of August is set aside as “World Mosquito Day”? It definitely isn’t a day when we celebrate the presence of mosquitoes in our lives. For most people, mosquitoes are just a big nuisance. Actually, they believe the world would be a better place if we could simply eradicate these pests. Well, some of the entomologists would differ with this opinion. You can be sure they have valid reasons for this. But there isn’t enough space to cover that topic in this post. For today, get some critical information about mosquito-borne illnesses.
What is a mosquito-borne disease?
Before we dive into answering this question, it’s worth noting that not all mosquitoes transmit diseases. For starters, male mosquitoes have no business biting you! But females always do and that’s because they need to develop eggs. These human-biting ones are the risky kind that spread various diseases as the following post explains:
What are mosquito-borne diseases?
Diseases spread by infected mosquitoes—in the United States, most are caused by viruses.
Examples of viruses spread by mosquitoes include West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE), St Louis encephalitis (SLE), La Crosse encephalitis, western equine encephalomyelitis (WEE), dengue, chikungunya, and Zika.
In children, most of these infections produce no signs or symptoms or mild headache and fever. In outbreaks, more severe illness (including central nervous system involvement) can occur, especially among adults. Read more at Pediatrust
There are several illnesses mosquitoes cause. Whereas their prevalence varies depending on several factors, it’s always advisable to know that they exist.
How common are diseases from mosquitoes?
This is a valid question especially if you’re living in a place where you don’t hear much about these illnesses. Yet, there could be outbreaks that are often rare occurrences. Even so, you need to know that these pests are present everywhere. Thus, they can spread disease wherever they are:
Mosquitoes are one of the most widespread pests in the world. They’re present in virtually every environment and on every continent, except Antarctica. They occur at altitudes up to 5,500m and have been found in caves and mines down to 1,250m below sea level.
Out of the 3,500 mosquito species worldwide, relatively few transmit dangerous diseases to humans. However, these diseases are a threat to the majority of the human population and cause infections in 700 million people each year. These species include the following.
Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, and other Aedes spp: dengue, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, yellow fever, Zika (and many other arboviruses), lymphatic filariasis/elephantiasis (parasitic roundworm)…Read more at Rentokil
It is comforting to know that only a few transmit diseases but the problem is that those few cases can be quite unnerving!
What is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the US?
As we’ve seen, some diseases are common in some areas and highly unlikely in others. So, here’s a look at some of the ones to take note of as a U.S resident.
In the United States, West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease, followed by malaria, dengue, and chikungunya. In 2018, there were around 2,647 cases of West Nile, with 217 cases occurring in the state of California. In that same year, West Nile was responsible for 167 deaths. In comparison, in 2016, there were 2,078 cases of malaria in the U.S. Furthermore, there were 171 cases of chikungunya virus in 2019, a large decrease from the 2,811 reported in 2014.
The Zika virus gained international attention in 2015 when an outbreak occurred in Brazil. As a result, the U.S. saw increases in Zika cases and much attention was paid to the disease. However, in 2020 only around 34 percent of adults in the United States stated they were very or somewhat concerned about the Zika virus, with females reporting being slightly more concerned than males. Read more at Statista
You could go ahead and carry out location-specific research to find out which of the diseases is common in your neighborhood.
At the end of the day, having such precise information would be useless if you don’t act on it. One of the best ways to do this is through preventative mosquito control. The good news is, you have an expert in mosquito control just a call away. Backyard Bug Patrol is your go-to company for exceptional mosquito control services. Get in touch with us today and you’ll see why we are at the top of the game with our barrier spray programs!