Mosquitoes pose a triple threat as a vector of three viruses

From the Sun-Gazette
July 18, 2018

VISALIA – Residents of Visalia beware of the dangers lurking around standing water and other mosquito breeding grounds. The Tulare County Health & Human Services and the Delta Vector Control District are asking people to be vigilant against mosquito bites. According to the Delta Vector Control District, sampling from local mosquitoes has detected the St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV) and West Nile Virus (WNV). And while it has yet to be detected in Tulare County, mosquitoes also carry the Zika Virus.

Any container with as little as a few inches of water standing for more than three days is a potential mosquito breeding source. General areas affected by the virus are viewable on the Delta Vector Control District home page, by clicking on the tab “Current Mosquito Collections.”

Of particular concern are these three illnesses that can occur after being bitten by a mosquito:

  • West Nile Virus (WNV) – Although most individuals will experience no effects from WNV, symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes, while more severe symptoms include disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, and paralysis.
  • St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLEV) – SLEV is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, and most people have no symptoms or only mild, flu-like illness. However, especially in the elderly, SLEV can cause serious illness that affects the central nervous system.
  • Zika Virus – Zika is a public health concern to individuals, especially pregnant women, traveling to areas where the virus is prevalent. It is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito or through unprotected sex with an infected partner. The mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus have been detected in an increasing number throughout California. The most concerning issue with the virus is that it can have detrimental effects on a pregnant woman’s developing baby.

Read more