Mosquito-Borne Illness

There are several mosquito-borne encephalitic arboviruses in Texas.

  • Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)
  • LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC)
  • St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE)
  • West Nile Virus (WNV)
  • Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE)

West Nile Virus

WNV is a mosquito-borne virus that can result in serious illness and sometimes death. The virus can infect humans, birds, horses, and other mammals. Humans become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito. Incidence of WNV is higher in infants and persons over 50 years of age; however, any individual can contract WNV.

WNV is spread by the Culex species of mosquito. They tend to bite from dusk to dawn. Be aware when planning activities during this time always remember the 4 Ds of Mosquito Protection.

Zika Virus, Dengue Fever & Chikungunya

Zika Virus, Dengue Fever, and Chikungunya are also diseases that mosquitos can transmit to humans. In this area, two species (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) can carry these viruses. These species lay their eggs on the walls of water-filled containers. Eggs stick to containers like glue and remain attached until they are scrubbed off. When water covers the eggs, they hatch and become adults in about a week.

Outbreaks

Adult mosquitos live inside and outside and prefer to bite during the day. A few infected mosquitos can produce large outbreaks in a community and put your family at risk of becoming sick.

Protection

Protect yourself, your family, and your community by eliminating all standing water in and around your home. Drain, scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water. Tightly cover water storage containers (like rain barrels) so that mosquitos cannot get inside to lay eggs. For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.

Resources

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.