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Mosquito Diseases: Mosquito-Borne Disease Facts

Updated on October 12, 2012

Why mosquitoes are more than just the blood-sucking bugs you once thought them to be!

Mosquito diseases have become more of a growing concern over the past decade or so. Every year there seem to be new areas, new strains, and new types of people being infected. Here is everything you need to know about mosquito diseases and how you can try to avoid them.


No one likes being bit by a mosquito. And most could do without the small stream of blood flowing down their arm, the constant itching, and those lovely red bumps that seem to pop up out of the clear, blue sky. Unfortunately, annoyance and women frantically trying to figure out how to mask the road maps on their legs are not the only problems that these tiny insects bring to the world. They also can bring disease. That's right, mosquito diseases. In a time when horror stories featuring the likes of the feared West Nile Mosquito Virus, a transferable mosquito disease, run daily on the news, people need to be educated and prepared. Thankfully with the help of products like DEET spray and mosquito traps, everyone can rest assured that their barbeques and picnics will continue to be safe ones this year.

Mosquito Borne Illness you say? Oh My God, Where Can I Get One?

There once was a time when the answer to that question would be, who knows? Now the answer is, maybe in your own backyard. Fortunately for all, fewer than 100 of the world's known 2,700 mosquito species actually carry disease. But with those 100 species buzzing around with their annoying mosquito sound, there are still 100 mosquito species that humans, birds, and all other animals have to worry about.

What Diseases Can A Mosquito Carry?

Right now there seem to be more mosquito borne diseases and epidemic fears sweeping the nation than there ever were before. This is understandable - especially when there is a possibility that the small bug sucking on your arm could be transferring one of these diseases directly to you:

  • Arboviral Encephilitides
  • Dengue Fever
  • Malaria
  • West Nile Virus
  • Yellow Fever

Of course, that is not to say that every bite will be traumatic or lethal. Most mosquito bites are nothing but annoying. However, in a time when there are so many diseases, it is best to protect yourself the best you can to ensure that you don't become the next victim of a mosquito borne illness.

Arboviral Encepha… what?

While the term Arboviral Encephilitiedes may sound ridiculous, any time you hear the phrase Arboviral Encephilitides mosquito borne illness you should be concerned. Encephilitides are viral diseases transferred by mosquitoes that can cause inflammation of the brain. In extreme cases, this inflammation eventually can lead the infected person to experience brain damage, fall into a coma, or even meet death.

Brain damage and death is the total extreme when it comes to these diseases. Most infected persons end up with less minor flu-like symptoms which include:

  • Headaches
  • Muscle Aches
  • Fever
  • Malaise

For most, symptoms never even surface. For some, the symptoms are much more extreme than flu-like. Those are the people who need to seek treatment, especially if they experience the following:

  • High Fever
  • Confusion
  • Stiff Back
  • Stiff Neck
  • Sensitivity to Light
  • Vomiting

There are a few varieties of Encephalitides found in the United States. These varieties include:

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis
  • Western Equine Encephalitis
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC)
  • West Nile Encephalitis

Out of all these varieties of mosquito illnesses, the Eastern Equine is viewed as the most deadly. Even with only an average of four deaths a year in the United States, it is one of the mosquito illnesses that could someday affect a much larger portion of the population.

I’ll Take A Mosquito Da Dengue to Go Please…..

Mosquito Dengue, sounds like a dish doesn't it? Not even close. Dengue Fever is a real thing that is commonly associated with mosquitoes found in the tropics. It can provide the infected with as little as a few days worth of sickness or provide them a horrid, fatal blood disease. The mosquitoes that carry this disease are known as Aedes Aegypti and find humans as their preferable targets. This day-eating, domestic insect's feeding habits are the reason that it is so easily kept in a constant cycle and why there is no vaccine for anyone who has contracted anything by a Dengue mosquito. That is just one more reason to protect yourself and make sure you buy the best mosquito traps or repellents that money can buy.

Did you just say Mosquito Malaria?

While many might think that Malaria is not something that they have to worry about, that is not the case when it comes to mosquitoes. Hundreds of millions of people contract it each year and at least a million of those people die from it. This is especially true for children who are infected. Like Dengue Fever, there is no vaccine available to fight this disease causing it to be one of the most feared mosquito viruses in the world.

A Malaria mosquito can cause a person to have a few different symptoms. These symptoms can start as a simple fevers or body aches that eventually can lean to seizures, a coma, or even death. Largely found in areas of Central America, South America, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the South Pacific, and Hispaniola, it seems like only a matter of time before this mosquito disease finds a large home for itself in North America. Unlike the common misconception that the mosquito and H.I.V. are somehow connected, the mosquito and Malaria can be a deadly combination for anyone who comes into contact.

Asian Tiger Mosquito - Carrier of the West Nile Virus
Asian Tiger Mosquito - Carrier of the West Nile Virus

A West Nile Mosquito in America?

The term West Nile mosquito or mosquito West Nile Virus does not mean that one must travel to the other side of the world to come into contact with this insect. Year after year, it seems like more and more West Nile mosquito bite cases are popping up all over the United States. Now viewed as a seasonal epidemic in North America, summer and fall seem to be the times when it shines.

First making an appearance in North America in 1999, coming with reports of infected humans and horses, it claimed 18 lives in its first year. Reports show that there were 3,598 humans infected with the mosquito West Nile Virus by the year 2007. While not everyone who is infected by a diseased mosquito's bite will meet death, at least 200 of those people are expected to develop some type of serious illness.

Everyone should protect themselves from the possibility of the West Nile Virus. A constant awareness of one's surroundings should assist in that protection. This is even truer for children and for those over 50. The older or younger one is, the more susceptible they are to this growing deadly disease.

Yellow Fever VS Dance Fever

Dance fever sounds like a much better thing to have than Yellow Fever and that is for good reason. Yellow fever is another tropical disease that transfers itself from mosquito to human. It is a constant cycle that goes directly from mosquito to human and then back again. One bite from a yellow fever mosquito and a person could have to kiss their health goodbye.

This is not always the case. In some instances, this disease may just cause a few days of unpleasantness, while in other instances, the infected do end up dying before their time. Found only in Africa and South America, travelers should definitely get their immunization shots before even thinking about coming into to contact with these crazed mosquitoes.

There is much information known about Yellow Fever mosquitoes. They have adapted to living amongst people in city and towns and breed wherever there is a cool place close to human habitats. Often, these places include:

  • Flower Pots
  • Discarded Tires
  • Oil Drums
  • Water Containers

These city yellow fever mosquitoes have been the reason for the classification of Urban Yellow Fever, which is the yellow fever most commonly found today. It is not common for United States travelers to come back with reports of obtaining Yellow Fever, but that does not mean it cannot happen. It also does not mean that the disease will never travel. Like the West Nile Virus, there is the chance that Yellow Fever or any of other mosquito diseases foreign to the United States will someday reach this, or any other area.

A Mega-Catch Mosquito Trap
A Mega-Catch Mosquito Trap

How Do I Protect Myself?

How do I protect myself is a question that has probably been replaying over and over in your head since the beginning of this rush of information. You are already halfway there to keeping yourself safe. You have the information. Now all you have to do is make sure to keep you and your loved ones safe.

Some of the best mosquito traps and methods include:

  • DEET spray
  • Mosquito nets
  • Citronella candles
  • Garlic repellant
  • Mega-Catch Mosquito Traps

All of these products will keep you and your family safe. When you choose the best product for your needs, be sure to choose the one that will be the safest and most convenient. For instance, mosquito nets are helpful, but you will only be safe while you are under the net. For constant protection, it may be best to use a product like a Mega-Catch Mosquito Trap so you and your family can be protected from mosquito bites and mosquito diseases all day and night.

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