Chikungunya and eastern equine encephalitis are all three mosquito-borne diseases are here in the U.S. And depending on where you live, you might be at risk.
People who are affected by The West Nile virus show no symptoms at all, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, one in five people will develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, and one in 100 will experience brain swelling or meningitis, which can be deadly. Symptoms can take up to two weeks to appear and last “for weeks or months,” according to the CDC.
Chinkunguya symptoms are fever, headache, muscle and joint pain or a rash within a week of the offending mosquito bite, according to the CDC. After a week people feel better but joint pains persist for months.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus causes fever, chills and body aches within a week after the offending mosquito bite. Some people recover after two weeks, while others go on to develop an encephalitic form of the disease, which can cause headache, irritability, convulsions and coma, according to the CDC. Roughly a third of those infected die, the agency said, and many who survive are left with brain damage, personality disorders, seizures and paralysis.
Tips on how to protect yourself
- Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin or IR3535. Some oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol products also provide protection.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors and avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn -– peak mosquito biting hours.
- Mosquito-proof your home with screens and regularly remove standing water from birdbaths, gutters, pool covers and pet water dishes.
Picture by ucanr.edu