Most people think of mosquitoes as a simple annoyance during cookouts, hiking trips and other outdoor events. These simple annoyances, however, can be lethal: mosquitoes are the most common cause of death in the world because of the illnesses that some species carry and transmit. Each year, around 500 million cases of mosquito-borne illnesses are reported and hundreds of thousands of these cases unfortunately result in death. While 90 percent of these deaths occur in Africa, the species that carry these deadly viruses exist in other parts of the world as well. It is important to understand which species carry viruses and where these species call home.
Disease-Carrying Mosquito Species
Luckily, only three of the 3000 species of mosquitoes are responsible for carrying the vast majority of mosquito-borne illnesses. We can only imagine how terrifying the situation would be if more species could infect humans.
The female Anopheles is one of the three deadly species of mosquitoes. These dangerous mosquitoes can carry malaria, which caused an estimated 435 thousand deaths in 2017. Malaria is by far the most dangerous mosquito-borne disease, with these flying insects infecting hundreds of millions of people each year. While most of these deaths are reported in developing nations, it is still important for people worldwide to recognize the dangers of malaria.
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is a less-lethal mosquito-borne illness that was first identified in Uganda. The virus has since spread to the U.S. and many other countries around the world. Around 80 percent of those infected with this virus show no symptoms, but those who do will develop West Nile fever. All told, the West Nile virus is milder than other mosquito-borne illnesses, unlikely to result in death, but some have developed neurological disorders after an infection.
The Aedes aegypit mosquito is responsible for carrying another very deadly virus: dengue.
Each year, an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur all over the world. 500 thousand of these cases develop into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes up to 25 thousand deaths. These mosquitoes are more commonly found in North and South America than other mosquito species.
University of Florida students are now studying whether Dengue can be treated with antiviral agents such as vaccines or antibiotics. These students are looking into whether they can utilize the immune system of the mosquito to create treatments for humans. If proven correct, these treatments can save thousands and thousands of lives.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito can also be a carrier of Yellow Fever, yet another extremely deadly mosquito-borne illness. In 2013, approximately 20 to 60 thousand deaths were caused by yellow fever. Mass infection is most commonly caused when an infected mosquito feeds on humans traveling through humid forests or jungles. When these humans return to an urban area, mass spreading and infection will occur.
Prevent Infection with MosquitoNix®
We here at MosquitoNix are well aware of the massive threat that mosquitoes may pose to you and your family. That is why we made it our mission to repel these dangerous pests. Learn more about MosquitoNix to see how we can protect you, your family and your outdoor lifestyle.
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