Common Mosquito-Borne Illnesses & Their Symptoms

It’s a simple fact of life that nobody likes mosquitoes. They ruin otherwise lovely picnics and barbecues, and leave you with itchy, red souvenirs for days to come. But they can bring more than just itchy inconvenience. Mosquitoes feed on blood, which makes them potential carriers of illness. Mosquito-borne illnesses have been making headlines for years.

West Nile Virus

The West Nile Virus is the one that made folks here in the U.S. perk up and really take notice of the danger posed by mosquito-borne illness. Of those people who contract the West Nile Virus, approximately 20% will suffer from symptoms. However, it is the experience of an even smaller percentage of those infected that rocketed the disease to headlines and front pages. Less than 1% of people infected with West Nile Virus develop a serious, potentially fatal neurologic illness.

For the 20% of folks who experience mild symptoms, these symptoms take the form of a fever, potentially accompanied by joint pain, body aches, headache, vomiting, rash, or diarrhea. While those infected tend to make a complete recovery, they can experience weakness and fatigue for weeks or even months.

The serious neurologic symptoms experienced by around 1 in 150 people with West Nile Virus affect the central nervous system, taking the form of encephalitis or meningitis. These conditions refer to inflammation of the brain or of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. People suffering from these conditions can experience headaches, neck stiffness, disorientation vision loss, numbness, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and even death.


Zika is a much less prevalent threat here in the U.S. than it was a few years ago, but it is by no means gone, and remains a significant threat abroad. It is typically carried by mosquitoes of the Aedes species, also known as yellow fever mosquitoes. They tend to favor tropical and subtropical environments, and have the ability to transmit dengue fever or chikungunya as well.

Like the West Nile Virus, many of those who are infected with Zika will experience no symptoms, or only mild symptoms. These can take the form of fever, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and conjunctivitis, more commonly referred to as pink eye. If experienced, these symptoms usually last for a few days to a full week.

The real danger of Zika lies in the other ways in which it can be spread outside of mosquito bites. Humans can pass the infection to one another during sex, and a pregnant woman can pass it onto her fetus. This introduces the risk of severe birth defects. While mild symptoms only last for a week, the disease can be transmitted for a period of six months or more. It’s imperative that folks traveling to regions where Zika is a high risk—and their partners—speak to a healthcare provider regarding protocols to follow during and after the trip.

Trustworthy Mosquito Control

Luckily, you’re not helpless against mosquitoes. You can trust Action Pest Exterminating to provide mosquito control you can count on. For a pest control company with history that spans three family generations and the expertise to prove it, contact Action Pest Exterminating – servicing the Charlotte Metro and surrounding areas.