Mosquito-borne Illnesses: A Year in Review

Mosquito-borne illnesses are diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites transmitted by the bite of a mosquito. Every summer, we dedicate several of our blogs to Preventing Mosquito Bites and Mosquito-Proofing Your Yard but often after the outdoor entertaining season is over, many people put their worries about these nuisance pests behind them. Thankfully, two organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) keep us informed about the number of cases these diseases cause each year and where the majority originate. Here is a quick review of their findings from the past year.

According to the World Health Organization, “Mosquitoes are one of the deadliest animals in the world. Their ability to carry and spread disease to humans causes millions of deaths every year. In 2015 malaria alone caused 438 000 deaths. The worldwide incidence of dengue has risen 30-fold in the past 30 years, and more countries are reporting their first outbreaks of the disease. Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever are all transmitted to humans by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. More than half of the world’s population live in areas where this mosquito species is present. Sustained mosquito control efforts are important to prevent outbreaks from these diseases. There are several different types of mosquitoes and some have the ability to carry many different diseases.”

Hitting closer to home than the Zika virus, dengue and yellow fever is the occurrence of West Nile in our region. According to the CDC, as of October 2, 2018, a total of 48 states and the District of Columbia have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2018. Overall, 1,611 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 933 (58%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 678 (42%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.

Be sure to stay in touch as we enter another season of biting insects in just a few short months. If you want more information about treatments to keep the mosquitoes away from your property next spring, contact Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll-Free: (800) 313-4733, and visit our website.

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