Mosquito Diseases - Top Killer

Mosquito Diseases – The Number One Human Killer

The female mosquito is the leading transmitter of diseases in our world. Vector-borne mosquito diseases account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases!

There are around 1 million deaths each year because of the mosquito. Reports track 300 to 500 million Malaria cases each year and on average a child dies from Malaria every 30 seconds. Mosquito diseases are a serious topic.

This is a humbling statistic when compared to Humans who kill 475,000 people a year or sharks who kill 10 people a year. How many news reports do you see for mosquito control compared to shark attack reports or murder reports?

West Nile

West Nile: the most commonly transmitted mosquito virus in the U.S. In 2016 there were 2,000 cases of West Nile in America with 353 cases in Texas. Of those cases, 94 people died (16 deaths in Texas).

Symptoms of West Nile:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Body Aches
  • Skin Rash
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Stiff Neck
  • Sleepiness
  • Disorientation
  • Paralysis

Only 1 in 5 people who contract West Nile have symptoms.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE): transmitted by mosquitoes and results in only a few cases a year. It is not as popular as West Nile but its mortality rate is 33%, much higher than West Nile.

Symptoms of EEE:

  • Inflammation of the Brain
  • High Fever
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting

If left untreated EEE can progress into disorientation, seizures, or coma.

*Note that survivors of EEE can develop significant brain damage.

Chikungunya

Chikungunya: one of the lesser diseases carried by mosquitoes. It is rarely fatal but resulted in around 1.5 million cases since 2013. Not found in the U.S. before 2013, most cases before then were in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Symptoms of Chikungunya:

  • Muscle Pain
  • Joint Swelling
  • Headaches

Zika

Zika is the most recent mosquito-based disease. Most of the hysteria surrounded its ability to cause microcephaly in newborns. Follow our Zika Page for more information on this virus.

Vector-Borne Diseases by the Number

Every year we calculate 1 billion cases of vector-borne diseases that result in over 1 million deaths. The prominent diseases are Malaria, Dengue, Schistosomiasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis, Leishmaniasis, Chagas Disease, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, and Onchocerciasis.

Most global transmissions are linked to global trade and travel. A great example of this is the most recent cases of Zika in America. Zika is not a native U.S. disease but was brought back to the states from travelers to other countries. The same for Malaria which is not a concern for America even with the high mortality rate in other countries.

Other carriers of Vector-based diseases are:

  • Sandflies
  • Ticks
  • Triatomine Bugs
  • Tsetse Flies
  • Fleas
  • Black Flies
  • Aquatic Snails

Follow our Repel Mosquitoes post to see the best and worst ways to repel this deadly bug. More information at Things that Attract Mosquitoes and the Mosquito Anatomy blog.

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