Mosquito-borne diseases are infections that certain mosquitoes carry and pass on to humans when they bite. These diseases are more than just itchy annoyances; they can make us sick.
There are various types of these diseases. Some familiar names include Malaria, Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, and, of course, West Nile Virus (WNV).
How Mosquitoes Spread Diseases
Mosquitoes act as tiny needles, injecting harmful germs into our bodies when they bite us. They pick up these germs from infected people or animals and transfer them to new victims with their bites.
What is West Nile Virus (WNV)?
WNV is a type of virus that can cause illness in humans. It belongs to a group of viruses known as flaviviruses. Mosquitoes become carriers of WNV when they bite infected birds.
Transmission Through Mosquito Bites
When a mosquito carrying the virus bites a human, it can transmit WNV into the person’s bloodstream.
Symptoms of West Nile Virus Infection
Some people might not show any signs, while others could experience mild symptoms like fever, headache, and body aches.
Prevention and Protection
Wearing long sleeves, using insect repellent, and staying indoors during peak mosquito activity hours can help.
Mosquito Control Strategies
MLocal authorities employ various methods to control mosquito populations. This can include using insecticides in areas with high mosquito activity
Eliminating Breeding Sites
Communities can reduce mosquito populations by removing or treating sources of stagnant water, such as flower pots, bird baths, and clogged gutters.
While there is no specific vaccine for humans against WNV, vaccines have been developed for animals, particularly horses.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors can diagnose WNV using blood tests. They might look for specific antibodies or genetic material of the virus in the blood.