When the topic of diseases transmitted by insects is mentioned on Long Island, the first thought is Lyme disease from tick bites. However, mosquito bites can also transmit disease right here in New York – not just malaria in the tropics.
Can a Mosquito Bite Kill You?
Yes, mosquitoes actually kill more people each year than every other creature on earth. Malaria, the best known of the diseases transmitted through mosquito bites, alone kills about one million people a year. While malaria is not an issue on Long Island, local mosquitoes can still kill New Yorkers through other diseases.
How Likely Is It to Get a Disease from a Mosquito?
Fortunately, it is not very likely on Long Island. New York is home to 70 types of mosquitoes. Bites from most of them are just an annoyance. Even the types of mosquito that can transmit disease may not be infected.
What Is the Most Common Mosquito-borne Disease?
Dengue fever is the most common mosquito-transmitted viral disease. Worldwide it infects 50 to 100 million people a year. Luckily, it is not found on Long Island.
Is EEE on Long Island?
Yes, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) has been found on Long Island. Mosquito bites can transmit various strains of encephalitis. EEE causes potentially fatal brain swelling. The only good thing is that the mosquito that most commonly transmits EEE, Culiseta melanura, tends not to feed on humans, according to Suffolk County Health Services Commissioner James Tomarken.
However, Tomarken cautioned about possible EEE transmission through bridge vectors. That’s when one type of mosquito infects birds with EEE. Those birds are then fed upon by other types of mosquitoes, which then pick up EEE and could transmit when they bite people.
Do Mosquitoes Transmit West Nile Virus?
Yes, and mosquito-transmitted West Nile virus has been in New York since 1999 according to the New York State Department of Health. Fortunately, the deadlier aspects of West Nile virus, like encephalitis (brain inflammation) and meningitis (inflammation of the spinal cord and brain), tend to be fairly rare in the United States.
Can Mosquitoes Transmit Zika Virus?
Yes, and mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus do exist on Long Island, in New York City, and the counties just north of the city. However, so far, the only cases of Zika virus found in New York state were actually traced to infection during visits outside the United States.
Can Mosquitoes Transmit COVID-19?
As of now, the consensus is that mosquitoes do not transmit COVID-19. The reasoning is that COVID-19 is transmitted through respiratory droplets so transmission through a bite is unlikely. However, COVID-19 is a novel virus and we are still discovering things about it. Fortunately though, Coronaviruses, due to their structure and nature, seem unlikely to be or become transmitted through mosquitoes.
How Do I Know If A Mosquito Bite Is Dangerous?
If you have a mosquito bite and then develop fever, headache, and fatigue soon afterward, that could be signs of something more serious. If those symptoms are combined with back pain, body aches, and nausea or vomiting, it could be a sign of West Nile virus. In general, as a Long Island resident, the more likely issue would be an infected bite – especially if you’ve been scratching.
Signs of an infected mosquito bite include:
- Swelling at the bite
- Redness around the bite
- Increasing pain
- Swollen glands/lymph nodes
- A sore or abscess at or near the bite
- Warmth at the bite mark
If those symptoms develop, see a doctor right away.
Arrow Exterminates Mosquitoes
Avoid the aggravation and dangers of mosquitoes by calling Arrow Exterminating. The experts at Arrow will help you identify if you have a problem, explain our plan to eradicate your infestation, and give you the peace of mind you need. To get started, contact Arrow Exterminating today.