Mosquito and Tick Viruses and Diseases
Mosquitos and ticks are more than just annoying pests. These creatures are responsible for the transmission of a number of deadly diseases including the Zika virus, West Nile virus, Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Aedes mosquitos transmit the Zika virus to people. If you contract the illness, you may develop a fever, joint pain and a rash. The ailment most commonly occurs in tropical and subtropical areas. Residents and visitors of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean islands and Africa are at an especially high risk of contracting the virus. Pregnant women should avoid traveling to these areas because if they get the illness, they can transfer it to their growing fetuses. When this happens, infants may suffer from abnormal brain development and even death. Most people recover from the virus in about a week, but researchers have yet to create a specific treatment for Zika.
West Nile Virus
Mosquitos transmit the West Nile virus to people and some animals throughout the United States. Although rare, this ailment can cause people to become severely ill. The disease may even cause death. If you contract the illness, symptoms of it include a fever, body aches and a headache. Swollen lymph glands and skin rashes are other symptoms of the disease. According to research, about one out of every 150 people infected with the West Nile virus develop extreme symptoms.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE
Mosquitos also spread EEE, which is a serious viral disease. This ailment affects horses and people. It can also harm captive birds like quail, ostriches and ducks. In rare cases, EEE is transmitted to livestock, dogs and even reptiles. About five to 10 cases of EEE occur annually in the United States. Despite the few cases of the ailment, when it does occur, it is frequently fatal. You’re at the highest risk of contracting the disease from late July through early September.
Ticks transfer Lyme disease by biting you. The ailment is caused by a bacterium. In addition, the risk of contamination varies from 1 percent to 6 percent based on your region. If you contract the disease, then you will likely develop a red skin lesion around the tick bite. This lesion will slowly spread out and disappear within a few weeks. Several weeks or months later, other signs will likely arise. For instance, you may experience pain or numbness around your joints as well as heart rhythm issues. You are at the most risk of contracting Lyme disease from May through October.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Ticks also spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This ailment is transmitted through tick bites. If you become infected with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, the disease will incubate in your body for about five days. You may then develop a fever along with a skin rash that includes blisters. Doctors can treat extreme forms of the disease with antibiotics.
Consider contacting a pest control expert to treat the exterior of your home. He or she can also assess your outside spaces for landscaping issues that may tempt mosquitos and ticks to live near your residence. With comprehensive pest control, you may be able to avoid diseases transferred by pests.