What Everyone In Tupelo Ought To Know About Mosquito Dangers

You're not going to get sick from every mosquito that bites you. In fact, you're likely to get a lot of bites before you get sick. You're probably aware of this. If you live in Tupelo, you've probably had your share of mosquito bites and have not had to go to the emergency room yet. But, it is also likely that you are aware that mosquitoes can make you sick. You may even know that mosquitoes-borne viruses can be deadly. So, how worried should you be? This is what we're going to talk about today. Here are a few facts about mosquito-borne diseases that everyone in Tupelo should know.

Not All Mosquito-Borne Viruses Are Endemic

Do you know how mosquitoes become infected with malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, Zika virus, and other potentially deadly and harmful mosquito-borne viruses? One obvious answer is that they pick them up from people. A mosquito can bite an infected person and then bite you. But this isn't the only way mosquitoes contract diseases. They can also bite an animal and then bite you. It is this zoological component that makes West Nile virus a dangerous threat in the United States, and malaria something that people in other countries get. While malaria is linked to far more death worldwide each year, West Nile virus is carried by animals that live in the United State. Malaria isn't. It is important to understand the animal connection if you want to understand how much of a threat a mosquito-borne virus can be here in the States.

Not All Mosquitoes Carry All Diseases

There are many species of mosquito in the United States. The mosquitoes that have the highest association with the spread of malaria, dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika and more, are known as Aedes mosquitoes. These mosquitoes tend to live in warm regions, with the Aedes aegypti preferring the southern states. This makes Mississippi a battleground for these diseases.

West Nile virus, and many other diseases that cause encephalitis, can be found all the way up into the Northern states, but are here in Mississippi as well. So, this disease, which is endemic to the United States, is considered a threat in Tupelo. 

It Is Difficult For A Mosquito To Spread A Disease

You may be concerned at this point, since the mosquitoes in our area can spread all of the dangerous mosquito-borne viruses, but let's spin the table again. One limiting factor for malaria and other viruses that are not endemic is that a mosquito must bite an infected traveler and then bite someone local. If the virus spreads enough, it can hop from citizen to citizen and create an outbreak. But this can be difficult, especially in a neighborhood. Why? Because mosquitoes don't go from yard to yard and move through an entire neighborhood to bite someone. They typically stay in the yard where they hatch, or near that area. So, someone in your home would have to be sick; or your neighbor would have to be sick. Obviously, there is more to it than this, but we're trying to make a point. Mosquitoes don't travel far. This makes it difficult for them to bite someone who is infected before they bite you. This transference happens most often in public places.

Asymptomatic Carriers

When considering person-to-person transmission of mosquito-borne viruses, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that you can get a serious disease, like Zika virus, and have no symptoms. In fact, as many as 80 percent of people who contract Zika virus are asymptomatic. That's good news. But the bad news is that you're not likely to know when your neighbor has it, or when someone in your home has it. Do you see the problem?

General Sickness

The vast majority of the time, mosquito-borne viruses don't lead to death. In the United States, the number of deaths in the U.S. each year is in the low hundreds. Most people have no symptoms at all (that's why you can get bitten so much and not get sick). Many people get sick with flu-like symptoms and blame it on the flu. This last point is important to keep in mind. If you get sick with the flu a lot, it may be that you have conditions around your home that are allowing mosquitoes to make you sick. 

What To Do About Mosquitoes

Most of the time, mosquitoes aren't dangerous. But the unfortunate truth is that they can be. The best way to protect yourself from the rare chance of becoming deathly ill, or suffering from a serious health issue, is to reduce mosquitoes on your property. Those are the ones that will bite a human, or bite an animal, and spread a disease to you.

At McCary Pest Control, we help residents and business owners in Tupelo mitigate the potential threat of mosquito-borne viruses by providing mosquito control services. Reach out to us today to learn how these work, or check out some of our blog posts on the topic.  

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