Just How Dangerous Are The Mosquitoes In Atlanta?
The mosquito is considered to be the most dangerous animal on the planet due to its association with malaria. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 229 million cases of malaria in 2019 with somewhere around 409,000 deaths. That is a scary statistic but, as you know, malaria isn't as serious a threat in the United States as it is elsewhere. The CDC reports that each year about 1,500 malaria cases are reported in the U.S. and about five deaths are associated with these cases. That's a very small number when you consider the U.S. population is currently around 328.2 million. But the real threat mosquitoes present to Atlanta residents have little to do with malaria. Let's take a look.
The term encephalitis refers to inflammation of the brain. When this inflammation occurs, it is often accompanied by a headache. Encephalitis is most commonly caused by a viral infection such as viruses spread by mosquitoes. If you contract a mosquito-borne virus and get a headache, you should take steps to closely monitor the severity of your illness.
There are several mosquito-borne viruses that can cause encephalitis. Many of these viruses actually have encephalitis in the name, such as Eastern equine encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. One notable virus that does not have encephalitis in its name, but has encephalitis as a possible symptom, is West Nile virus (WNV). Of all the mosquito-borne viruses in the United States, WNV is the most dangerous. While case counts can be in the thousands, under 20 people die of WNV in the U.S. each year.
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A Few Simple Facts About WNV
- 80 percent of people who contract WNV are asymptomatic.
- 20 percent of people who contract WNV develop moderate symptoms that resemble the flu or cold, such as headache, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, swollen glands, rash, nausea, and vomiting.
- Only 1 in 150 cases result in encephalitis, meningitis, paralysis, or human mortality.
There Are Many Diseases Spread By Mosquitoes
In recent years, Zika virus brought some much-needed attention back to the subject of how dangerous mosquito-borne viruses in the United States can be. An outbreak can occur at any time. Mosquitoes can spread malaria, Zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya virus, and more. The number of deaths in the United States is quite low due to a robust health care system and quick access to medical attention, but deaths do occur.
You Shouldn't Live In Fear
Let's put things into perspective. In 2019, it is reported that 33,244 people died from fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States. The threat mosquitoes represent can not even compare. Our goal with this article is not to cause you to fear mosquitoes but to inform you of the potential for injury. In most cases, investing in mosquito control is more about comfort than safety. When you have a licensed professional apply products to reduce the mosquitoes on your property, you make outdoor areas a whole lot nicer to spend time in. The added benefit is that you also mitigate the threat of mosquito-borne viruses. It's a win-win.
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