What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Spread?
Each year, more than 700,000 deaths worldwide are linked to mosquito-borne diseases. These diseases disproportionately affect people in tropical and subtropical regions, so while the relative risk on Long Island is low, it’s always worth remembering the harm mosquitoes can cause. The most common mosquito-borne diseases are:
- Chagas disease
- Yellow fever
- Zika virus
- Rift Valley fever
- West Nile virus
Are there any disease-transmitting mosquitos on Long Island?
Three main mosquito families are known to spread disease: Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles mosquitoes. Here on Long Island, there have been no reports of Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles mosquitoes transmitting disease. While it would be very unusual, it’s still a possibility.
Thankfully, most mosquitoes in this area do not transmit disease and are primarily just a nuisance.
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What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry in the U.s.?
There are more than 200 mosquito species across the United States. Of those, there are about twelve that are capable of transmitting disease. Cases of the following mosquito-borne diseases have been found in the United States: Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, and Malaria. These outbreaks have occurred in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Most of these cases of malaria were reported in travelers who had recently returned from tropical regions in South America or Africa.
The vast majority of mosquitoes we encounter on Long Island are nuisance mosquitoes and incapable of transmitting the diseases that make people sick.
Mosquito-Borne Disease Symptoms
If a mosquito bites you, your mild itchy rashy symptoms should subside in a day or two. If not, it could be a sign you’re suffering from something more serious. Common symptoms of vector-borne diseases passed on by mosquitoes include:
- Sudden high fever
- Stiff neck
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle tremors or seizures
- Severe headaches
If you begin to notice any of these signs after getting mosquito bites, seek assistance from a medical professional immediately.