While the public and media have recently been focused on the Zika virus and understandably the scary implications of the virus – there are other mosquito born illnesses, that are just as concerning to your health and far more likely to be transmitted to you by mosquitoes.
While this information is not meant to scare you, the implications of these viruses are undoubtedly frightening. Therefore, it is important New Englander’s at least be aware of what these viruses are and how to protect against them.
West Nile Virus (WNV)
West Nile virus is primarily transmitted to people from an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes often become infected by feeding on infected birds and other animals. While 70-80 % of individuals who contract West Nile will not experience any symptoms at all, 1 out of 5 will develop a fever, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash (CDC Map of WNV activity by state).
More concerning but less common, 1% of people infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Recovery from the neurologic symptoms may take weeks or months and could have permanent effects. Of those who develop a neurologic infection from West Nile, 10% have resulted in death.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (aka EEE or Triple E)
Like West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis or EEE is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. While overall EEE is a rare disease, the highest occurrences are reported in many of the New England states, especially Massachusetts (CDC map of EEE cases reported by state).
Most individuals infected never show any signs of illness. Those who do show symptoms will do so in about 4-10 days after being infected and will experience inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), which appears with a headache, high fever, chills and vomiting and may progress into disorientation, seizures or a coma. The biggest concern with EEE is that approximately 33% of those infected result in death and those who survive have mild to severe brain damage.
How To Prevent Infections?
West Nile and EEE do not have vaccines or specific treatments, aside from treating the symptoms with supportive care, therefore, your best defense from contracting these viruses is preventing mosquito bites.
If you think that you or a family member may be have contracted West Nile or EEE, consult your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and care.
Modern Pest Can Help.
The reality is, all mosquito-transmitted diseases can be terrifying to think about, yet it is a reality that we must consider and be aware of, in order to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Preventing mosquito population growth in your area is one easy and effective way that Modern Pest can help by removing the ideal conditions for mosquitoes to thrive. Modern also provides long-term prevention by treating areas around your home that are common for mosquitoes to rest during the day.
We don’t want you to be afraid to enjoy your own backyard and the beautiful New England outdoors this summer. Just be sure to use careful prevention and effective mosquito control options to stay safe from mosquito bites this season!
To learn more about our mosquito control program or other pest services, contact us today at 1-800-323-7378, and right now you can get $50 off your mosquito control program.
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