Everybody knows mosquitoes bite, and that can be an annoying problem by itself, what with the itching and the welts and such.However,that problem pales in comparison to the real issue with biting mosquitoes, and that’s the spread of disease. The mosquito’s ability to spread disease has earned it the title of the most deadly animal in the world http://listverse.com/2007/07/13/top-10-most-deadly-animals/.
Caused by a microorganism and spread by mosquitoes, malaria is the 5th leading cause of death from infections diseases world-wide. There about 300 million cases annually around the world and nearly 1 million of those cases result in death. Malaria was largely eradicated from the U.S. in the 1950’s through a spraying campaign using DDT. Since then, there have been around 60 outbreaks caused, probably, by local mosquitoes biting a person that was infected elsewhere in the world. Symptoms include chills, fever, sweats, headache, and nausea. There is no vaccine, although the Gates foundation is donating millions of dollars to researchers to find one.
This disease is caused by a virus and spread by mosquitoes. It had been absent in the U.S. for 65 years, but re-emerged during 2009 in the Florida Keys. Around 28 cases have since been reported. The disease causes severe fever along with a rash. Dengue fever is also known as break bone fever because of the severe pain and aches accompanied by the fever. Fortunately, there is a 99% survival rate. There is no vaccine.
West Nile Fever
Found originally in Africa, West Nile Virus was detected in the U.S. In 1999. It is thought to have been introduced by migrating birds. West Nile Virus is transmitted when a mosquito bites an infected bird, then bites a human. Mosquitoes may also transfer the virus to their offspring. Incidence usually peaks in August. Most infected people develop West Nile fever, which is similar to the flu. About 1 in 100 infections result in West Nile encephalitis which can cause paralysis or death. People over 50 are much more likely to develop encephalitis. In Texas, there were 89 reported human cases of West Nile Virus during 2010. Seven of those cases resulted in death. There is a vaccine that is used for horses, who can also be infected.