Mosquito diseases impacting the USA
The whole scientific community, the public and the press have been interested in the hot topic of mosquito borne diseases in the USA and their effect on the country. As well as the viruses themselves, there are also long-term health complications that these illnesses bring with them, making mosquitos one of the most deadly and dangerous pests in the world.
As you may have seen, more and more education has been given out to USA citizens on what protective measures you can take to reduce the Zika virus spreading. Alongside this, the scientific community has reviewed some trusted experimental methods to stop any outbreaks happening in the future.
Mother Nature has intensified the affect of the diseases that mosquitoes spread. The floods in Texas and Florida have majorly exacerbated the spread of these diseases, and there’s been a lot of cases of Zika in these areas.
In 2017, the biggest mosquito borne diseases that were reported in the United States were West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and of course, Zika. WNV is still the most common virus that mosquitoes transmit to us and is also responsible for taking the highest number of human lives.
Here we are going to take a look at these three main mosquito borne diseases in the USA:
West Nile Virus
47 out of the 50 states in America have reported infections of West Nile Virus, which has been found in people, birds or animals. There were 2002 cases reported in humans in one year, and 121 of these people died. This was a decrease in the number of people who had suffered from the virus from the previous year, but more cases had ended in fatality.
The states that are being most affected by the West Nile Virus are California, Texas, Arizona, Illinois and South Dakota. The virus is transmitted to humans via mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. Most cases of the infection have occurred during the summer months, when mosquitoes are more common. The symptoms of WNV are very much like the flu.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis
The Triple E is rarer, but it is a deadly illness for humans. Only a few cases of this virus have been reported in the US, but all of these have been fatal for those infected.
EEE is one of the less common mosquito borne diseases in the USA because the mosquito that the virus is carried by doesn’t typically feed on humans. The symptoms of the virus doesn’t appear for four to ten days, but when they do it’s normal to experience vomiting, headache and a sudden fever.
The virus has become more of a concern for horse owners, as this is the typical animal that the particular type of mosquito feeds on. Horse owners have been encouraged to vaccinate their horses against this disease, but unfortunately there’s no such vaccine for humans.
Zika is mainly spread by travel, with 409 cases associated with this in a year. The most heavily impacted states by the Zika virus are Florida and Texas. This was mainly put down to the weather conditions and severe flooding due to hurricanes.
Although Zika is still a hot topic in the USA, the virus has actually seen a decrease in cases, and more is being done to combat the diseases and stop the transmission to more states.
The symptoms of Zika begin with a headache and a fever. After a few days, a rash may appear that can cover the entire body. Other symptoms are very much flu-like. Pregnant women are most at risk of catching the virus because it can cause birth defects and underdevelopment in unborn children. Currently there is no vaccine or cure available for the Zika virus.