What is a Co-Infection in the World of Ticks and Mosquitoes?

Posted by Mosquito Squad

August 17, 2017

If you haven’t been living under a rock, then you know how dangerous ticks and mosquitoes are. Between the rise and spread of Lyme disease (a tick-borne illness) and last year’s Zika Virus outbreak (a mosquito-borne disease), both have been in the news quite a bit over the last year or two. What may not be prominent in the news cycle is the rare instances of co-infection.

What is Co-Infection?

Co-infections while rare, are most commonly seen in tick-borne illnesses. Most often, Babesiosis. Patients infected with Babesiosis by the bite of an infected tick can also be infected with Lyme disease from that same tick that happens to be carrying both diseases. Afflicted with two illnesses at the same time makes treatment and recovery more challenging. Check out Lymedisease.org for a great deal of further information on tickborne coinfections.

Tick-Borne & Mosquito-Borne Illness Simultaneously

Recently reported by the Billings Gazette, a young man was diagnosed with both Rocky Mountain Spotted fever (RMSF) and West Nile virus (WNV) at the same time.

Twenty-one at the time, Tate Haidle became suddenly and extremely tired while traveling for his job selling coffee at musical festivals across the Midwest. He returned home, and his condition escalated. He was sleeping all day long and lost 36 pounds. After finally seeing a doctor, he was diagnosed with both West Nile Virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. It took almost a year and a half to recover from both, and he still is not 100% back to his full energy level.

Truly the chances of this happening are one in millions, but he is lucky to have survived. His doctor only knew of two previous cases of WNV and RMSF co-infection. Both were in teenagers, and neither survived.

How Is Mosquito & Tick-borne Co-Infection Possible?

As it turns out, ticks and mosquitoes prefer similar environments. Not a fact we think too much about, but damp, moist, wooded areas are perfect for both insects. If you are spending a great deal of time in an untreated wooded area without proper precautions, it is certainly quite possible to get both a tick bite and a mosquito bite. The chances of both carrying disease are where the probabilities lower.

While you may never think you could become infected with both a mosquito-borne and tick-borne illness simultaneously, it is important that you 1.) take precautions to avoid tick bites and mosquito bites and 2.) see a doctor immediately should you suddenly face extreme exhaustion or other ailments. Make sure your doctor is aware of your recent exposure to ticks and mosquitoes.

At Mosquito Squad of Minneapolis, we urge you to follow tick safety guidelines when spending time in untreated areas. We also offer you a lower risk at home with our tick control and mosquito control services. Call now to learn how we can eliminate up to 90% of both ticks and mosquitoes from your yard.