West Nile Virus and Mosquitoes

Image of a Mosquito

What Is West Nile Virus?

A potentially dangerous disease, West Nile virus, sometimes abbreviated WNV, can cause a range of effects including muscle weakness and meningitis. The infection affects people, mosquitoes, and horses as well as other animals, but outbreaks typically begin with an infected bird.

Why Are West Nile Virus and Mosquitoes Linked?

West Nile virus rarely transfers directly from birds to humans or between people. Instead, mosquito bites are the most common way the disease spreads.

After feeding on a bird with West Nile, a mosquito becomes a carrier of the virus. When the infected pest takes a blood meal from a human, the disease passes into the new host’s bloodstream.

West Nile Virus Symptoms

Those who contract this virus may not present symptoms for up to two weeks. In fact, the majority of people infected with West Nile virus by mosquitoes show no signs at all. Others may have headaches, fever, rash, or nausea. In rare cases, the disease can be fatal.

There is currently no human vaccine for the West Nile virus, and mosquitoes are difficult to control. As a result, taking action to manage the pests is an important part of making homes and businesses safe during peak mosquito months.

Limiting the Spread of West Nile Virus and Mosquitoes

To reduce the chances of contracting this illness, avoiding contact with mosquitoes is key. Possible tactics include:

  • Minimizing sources of standing water
  • Using mosquito repellent
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants outdoors
  • Keeping windows shut and screens in good repair

Managing Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes can be tough pests to handle. Decreasing their numbers often involves both chemical and practical control methods. Waltham Pest Services can deal with these pests as well as identify conditions that might lead to future concerns with mosquitoes and West Nile virus.

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