Getting heat exhaustion or a sunburn might be the least of your worries this summer. Those won’t leave lasting damage, unlike a nip from these infected pests which could give you malaria, Dengue Fever or worse.
Used to be, mosquitoes in our area were just annoying. They buzzed in your ear and bit you, when you were on the lawn at night, when you least expected it. Now they’re down right scary, though.
Unfortunately, mosquitoes can be a vehicle for some pretty awful illnesses. It’s not common that people fall sick from a mosquito bite, but we all know it can happen.
If you’re looking for some good scary stories to share around the campfire this summer, check it out. Here are 6 awful things you could catch from a mosquito bite:
1) West Nile Virus
This guy is horrible. I once heard of someone who was sitting out on his front porch one night, only to be bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus and to end up in a coma for 6 months. He recovered, but man, what a thing.
West Nile Virus first came to the United States around 1999. It’s rarely caught but still, it’s one of the most common mosquito illnesses right now, in the U.S. Thankfully, only about 1 per cent of all cases turn into something serious, but you still don’t want to contract it.
It can give you a headache but also encephalitis and meningitis, which is swelling of the tissue around the brain and spinal chord. Not fun.
We’ve all heard so much about Zika in the last few years. It’s not a scary thing to contract by mosquito if you aren’t pregnant or trying to be- and your partner isn’t either- but if you are, obviously you don’t want Zika. It infers with the development of a baby’s brain, causing permanent, serious damage. Check out these areas in the U.S that carry a Zika risk.
Malaria has pretty much disappeared in the U.S, but it’s still common in Africa and other parts of the globe, like Asia. If a mosquito generously gives you malaria, you’ll feel flu-like symptoms. Go see your doctor. They can give you drugs to help you get over it- you’re going to need them.
4) Dengue Fever
Complications arising from Dengue Fever can be fatal, so try to stay in the clear. You’re unlikely to contract it in the U.S and more likely to find it in South America, but it’s possible to get it here.
Symptoms include a rash, headache, fever, body aches and general discomfort.
5) Chikungunya Virus
It’s so hard to pronounce this one, but even harder to be infected with it. In 2014, this illness made its first appearance in the U.S, in Florida. It causes a bad headache, fever and “crippling joint pain”.
6) Yellow Fever
Thankfully, there’s a vaccine for Yellow Fever, so many of us in North America already have some protection against this one.
If you haven’t been immunized and are traveling to South America though, talk to your doctor. You may want to top up and be prepared before getting sick while abroad.