Mosquitoes

Mosquito - FeedingProtect yourself and your family from mosquito bites that can potentially make you sick.  Mosquito bites can occur in your backyard, the neighborhood ball park, or overseas.

Wearing insect repellent and being aware of your surroundings can help prevent the following diseases from wreaking havoc on your immune system:

Zika Virus

Zika virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and there is no indication that it can spread person to person through casual contact.  However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported several cases of Zika virus infection in non-travelers in the continental United States after their sexual partners returned from an affected area and developed symptoms.

The disease has historically occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia and islands in the Pacific Ocean.  In May 2015, Zika virus was found for the first time in the Western Hemisphere in northeastern Brazil.  The virus has since spread through much of the Caribbean, Central America and South America.  The CDC maintains an updated list of affected countries and territories as well as associated travel notices.

Travel advisory for pregnant women:

Because of the association between Zika virus infections in pregnant women and certain birth defects, CDC recommends that pregnant women consider postponing travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing.  More information on Zika virus and pregnancy is available on CDC’s website.

West Nile Virus

According the the CDC, West Nile Virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.  Infected mosquitoes will then have the ability to spread the virus to humans and other animals.  It was first documented in North American in 1999 and outbreaks have been occurring every summer since 1999.

West Nile Virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).  The incubation period is usually 2 to 6 days but ranges from 2 to 14 days.  This period can be longer in people with compromised immune systems.  Anyone living in an area where West Nile Virus is potentially at risk, although very few individuals develop symptoms.

Chikungunya Virus

Typically transmitted by a genus of mosquitoes named Aedes, which are not naturally occurring in Ohio.  According to The Ohio State University, the Aedes genus are being transported into Ohio on items such as containers and tires as eggs and are afforded the opportunity to hatch and thrive in our habitat.  People who become infected with the Chikungunya Virus may experience the following symptoms:  fever, joint pain, headache, and/ or rash.

Other Viruses of Concern

Easter Equine Encephalitis Virus (EEEV)

La Cross Virus (LACV)

Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV)

DSC00074Prevention & Control

Insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and paramenthane-diol products produce longer-lasting protection according to the CDC.

Mosquitoes are most active from dusk to dawn.  A combination of long sleeves, pants, socks & insect repellent produce the best results for avoiding mosquitoes.

Installing screens or repairing screens to windows and doors will help prevent entry of mosquitoes into the home.

Mosquitoes need standing water for breeding.  Insuring that flower pots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, tires, and bird baths are changed or emptied on a regular basis can help prevent breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

For more information on arboviruses transmitted by mosquitoes, please visit the CDC website at:  www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes