Mosquitoes do more than ruin an outdoor picnic; they also carry viruses that can cause sickness and death in humans. By now, you've probably heard all about West Nile Virus, a rare infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes. The West Nile Virus affects people differently; while some people have no symptoms at all, others experience fevers, body aches and joint pains. However, one in 100 will develop meningitis or brain swelling, which leads to death in some cases. These deadly symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear and may last for a few weeks or months.
Other Alarming Mosquito Viruses
The Chikungunya virus, which originates from Central or East Africa, has affected a number of people from Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and several mainland states. Many of the infected Americans have encountered the virus as tourists; however, there's two known cases of Florida residents contracting the virus locally. Even outside of the tropics, mosquitoes pose a serious threat to people throughout the United States. Chikungunya causes a variety of symptoms, from fever and headaches to muscle and joint pain. The good news, however, is that the Chikungunya infection rarely causes fatalities, but it can cause disabilities.
Another virus, known as the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, is also transmitted by mosquitoes and causes fever, body aches and chills. While some people recover after a few weeks, others go onto developing severe symptoms, such as convulsions and coma. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly one-third of people infected die from the virus while the survivors are left with paralysis, seizures and brain damage.