So far in 2020, 36 states have reported West Nile virus infections. Within the last week, Massachusetts reported four new human cases, and CDC data has shown that more than 80 cases of West Nile virus in people have been reported this year. These West Nile virus outbreaks pair with reports that hurricanes are causing a dramatic rise in mosquito populations, which is wreaking havoc for livestock owners. There’s no denying that the world’s deadliest animal, mosquitoes, are leaving their mark on 2020.
The first outbreak of West Nile virus in the United States occurred in 1999 in New York. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been monitoring and reporting on the disease. The virus is spread through the bite of a female mosquito, who transmits it via her saliva while feeding on a host. Most people who become infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms. However, some can develop flu-like symptoms like fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and nausea or vomiting. In rarer cases, the virus can impact the nervous system, causing far more severe side effects like meningitis, seizures, and paralysis. The virus tends to affect young children, older people, and the immunocompromised more dramatically. Unfortunately, there are no vaccines for West Nile virus.
At Mosquito Squad, we always say that the best way to protect yourself from mosquito-transmitted disease is to limit your overall exposure to mosquitoes. Reducing the mosquito population around your home is crucial. You can pack a 1-2 punch against mosquitoes by following the 7 T’s of Mosquito Control and implementing a professional mosquito control service. Our mosquito elimination services are reapplied every 2-3 weeks to the foliage where mosquitoes are known to feed and live.
When venturing out into non-treated areas, you’ll need to take additional precautions to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Consider wearing loose, long-sleeved shirts and pants, and apply an EPA-registered repellent, such as DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or picaridin, to the uncovered areas of the skin. Mosquitoes may be a natural part of the season, but the viruses they can spread don’t have to be. Stay informed of new cases in your area and take precautions against getting bit.
Fight the bite and prevent disease. Contact your local Mosquito Squad today.