Mosquitos are classified as a vector agent, meaning they transmit various viruses and parasites to humans without suffering harm themselves. The immune systems of mosquitos protects them from disease by inhibiting the genetic code of the virus it carries. When a mosquito bites a human, it sends saliva, anti-coagulants, and sometimes a dangerous virus into the victim’s bloodstream.
Roots of Common Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Some of the most dangerous mosquito-borne illnesses trace their roots to the tropical regions of Africa. For example, malaria originated in Africa before quickly spreading to other areas with moist, humid climates around the world. The invention of many insecticides during the 20th century was able to effectively eliminate much of the malaria threat that was plaguing various countries. However, the American Mosquito Control Association reports that malaria is still a problem for 40% of the world, especially in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
Spread of Diseases to the United States
Mosquito-borne diseases were mostly carried to the United States through individuals who traveled to other parts of the world or engaged in global trade. There was a resurgence of the malaria virus in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, when American soldiers returned from Vietnam. West Nile virus first appeared in Africa in 1937 before spreading to Europe, the Middle East, and eventually the United States. The first reported case of West Nile virus in the United States was in 1999 in New York.
Current Trends in Dengue Fever and West Nile Virus
West Nile virus is one of the most serious mosquito-borne disease currently threatening U.S. residents. As of December, 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that West Nile virus has been found in 48 states. Dengue fever has also appeared as a current threat in the last 16 years, with 20 cases reported in Florida in 2010.
To protect your Florida home from the mosquito threat, call Platinum Mosquito Protection at (954) 888-9311. Our mosquito misting system will help keep your yard free of mosquitos. We even offer free consultations!