One of the biggest issues with mosquitoes is the number of diseases that mosquitoes can spread among different people. Often people do not initially relate their symptoms to mosquito bites, but there are several diseases that have similar symptoms at the onset.
Mosquito Borne Diseases That Cause Encephalitis
According to the article “4 Most Common Mosquito Borne Illnesses in Virginia Beach”, West Nile Virus, Saint Louis Encephalitis, La Crosse Encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis have similar symptoms at the onset. You should watch out for these symptoms:
- Severe headache
- Mild fever that can become high
- Aches in joints and muscles
While these are the most common symptoms of the diseases, other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. All four of these diseases can have more serious complications. It is important to seek medical treatment if you have a severe headache and high fever. These are signs that you may have any of these four illnesses. These all have serious complications and you need to be under the care of a doctor for treatment.
The Zika Virus
The Zika virus is a relatively new disease in the United States. It works a bit differently than the other diseases, since most of the symptoms are very mild, and people may not realize that they have contracted it. The symptoms are similar to the other illnesses including fever, headache and joint and muscle pain. However, you may also develop a rash or conjunctivitis (pink or red eyes).
The real risk of the Zika virus is that it can cause major birth defects if the mother contracts it during the pregnancy. Currently doctors cannot predict the severity of birth defects for your fetus. The Zika virus is spread primarily spread through mosquitoes, but it can also be spread through unprotected sex. Although there is no treatment for Zika virus, there is a test you can take to determine if you are affected.
Protecting Yourself Against Mosquito Borne Diseases
It is important to be aware of the possible complications that can arise from mosquito bites. The best way to protect yourself from these diseases is to prevent yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes. Be sure to apply bug repellent when you are going to be outside, especially in areas that mosquitoes are common like around water or in the woods. Take care to keep mosquitoes out of your home by installing screen doors and making sure your window screens are working. Checking your yard for standing water and eliminating it will stop mosquitoes from breeding in your yard. Many cities will undertake a mosquito control program around their public spaces and in areas that are prone, but you can take it step farther by treating your yard for mosquitoes.
If you are traveling to another country that is known for specific types of mosquito borne illnesses like the Zika virus or malaria, it is essential that you take the steps to protect yourself from being beaten. Be sure to use mosquito nets as necessary and to apply bug spray regularly. Let your health care provider know that you traveled abroad if you develop any symptoms.