What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Spread?
Mosquitoes are infamous for the dangerous diseases they’re able to transmit. Each year, there are more than 700,000 deaths from vector-borne diseases. These diseases have disproportionately affected populations in tropical and subtropical regions, but are a global threat. The most common mosquito-borne diseases are:
- Chagas disease
- Yellow fever
- Zika virus
- Rift Valley fever
- West Nile virus
What Types of Mosquitoes Can Transmit Disease?
The three species of mosquitoes that are responsible for spreading diseases are Aedes, Culex, and Anopheles mosquitoes. There are multiple species within these families. Thankfully, there are many types of mosquitoes that are not responsible for transmitting disease and are primarily a nuisance pest. Here in Wisconsin, we have had reported cases of all three of these mosquitoes.
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What Diseases Do Mosquitoes Carry in Wisconsin?
There are more than 200 types of mosquitoes found in our nation. Of those, only about 12 types are capable of transmitting disease. The diseases that have been found in the United States include Dengue, chikungunya, Zika virus, and Malaria; these outbreaks occurred in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the US Virgin Islands. Most cases of malaria reported occur in returned travelers from tropical regions. Most types of mosquitoes we encounter are nuisance mosquitoes that are incapable of transmitting diseases.
Mosquito-Borne Disease Symptoms
Red bumps and itchy skin are the most common symptoms of mosquito bites. So what symptoms alert you that you may be suffering from something more serious? If you notice any of the following symptoms that signal a more severe bite, consult your medical professional immediately:
- Sudden high fever
- Stiff neck
- Nausea or vomiting
- Muscle tremors or seizures
- Severe headaches