When we view the mosquito as a simple nuisance, we are seriously underestimating the danger of the mosquito’s bite. When asked to imagine the world’s most dangerous creatures, most will picture lions or bears or, if you are from the hampton roads area, scenes from this year’s shark week. In reality, the mosquito has claimed the title of world’s deadliest creature thanks to its transmission of many serious diseases.
Mosquitoes are vectors, which means they are organisms capable of carrying and transmitting viral diseases. The diseases mosquitoes are known to transmit include (but are not limited to):
- West Nile Virus (Present in Hampton Roads as recently as 2014) - Originating in Uganda, the reach of the West Nile Virus has since spread worldwide thanks to the mosquito. At the onset, symptoms are similar to the flu including headache, body aches, and fever. As the disease develops, more serious symptoms follow such as muscle weakness and disorientation.
- Eastern Equine Encephalitis (Present in Hampton Roads as recently as 2014) - Though encephalitis often resolves itself, in some cases the virus invades the central nervous system resulting in the inflammation of the brain. The most common strain of the virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), affects humans as well as horses and has been found in the eastern United States as recently as the 2014 season.
- La Crosse Encephalitis (Approx. 100 cases throughout U.S. annually)
- Yellow Fever (Eliminated in U.S.)
- Malaria (Eliminated in U.S) - Though malaria is both preventable and treatable, millions of African deaths are still attributed to infection with malaria virus annually. Here at Mosquito Squad, we proudly support Malaria No More, a nonprofit organization providing African families the tools needed for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria.
- Heartworm (Present throughout U.S., threat to family pets) - Mosquito-borne diseases can cause serious harm to another member of the family: our pets. A mosquito bite can transmit heartworm larvae into the bloodstream of our beloved pets. The larvae will take residence in the heart where they will grow and reproduce. Symptoms can range from coughing and exercise intolerance to anemia, fainting spells and even heart failure.
- Dengue Fever (Rare in U.S.)
- Rift Valley Fever (Endemic to Africa) - It is estimated that more than 750,000 deaths worldwide result from these mosquito-borne diseases annually. Here in the US, we are less aware of these deadly effects of the mosquito’s bite than those living in developing countries. We have taken great care both in controlling the mosquito population and in developing procedures for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of a majority of mosquito-borne diseases. Our resulting disregard of mosquito-borne diseases is dangerous as more than 1,000 Americans annually contract serious illness from a single mosquito bite. We must make sure to remain protected to the best of our ability, which can be covered with use of our services here at Mosquito Squad.
Outreach & Awareness
Each year more than 625,000 people die from malaria. A majority of these deaths are children under 5 years old. Together we CAN put an end to these deaths. We at Mosquito Squad proudly partner with Malaria No More. This non-profit organization is working to end malaria deaths by engaging world leaders, rallying the public, and delivering life-saving tools and education to families across Africa. 5.4 million people in 17 African countries have already received mosquito nets funded by Malaria No More aiding in the 58% decline seen in the rate of child malaria deaths since 2000. Malaria No More needs help to extend its aid to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa and eliminate malaria deaths. Your gift will help fund the delivery of mosquito nets to families in at-risk areas in Africa as well as the provision of education on malaria prevention.
Please visit the Malaria No More website to make a donation.