Deadly Mosquitoes: Mosquito-Borne Viruses Are Killing Again

The attack of the deadly mosquitoes is starting again. SA (South Australia) has recently issued a health warning over a possible fatal mosquito virus. The Department for Health and Wellbeing informed the community to avoid any mosquito exposure. Seven cases of encephalitis have been identified in SA at least a month ago.

Acute Encephalitis

This condition is an inflammation of the brain. It is due to a bacterial or oral infection. The seven cases in SA all needed hospital-based treatment. The authorities are investigating flavivirus cases that develop into encephalitis. One of the seven patients died. Areas with La Nina increases the risk of deadly mosquitoes causing fatal diseases. Encephalitis symptoms include tremors, confusion, drowsiness, and headaches.

A female mosquito feeding
A female mosquito feeding

There are also 77 cases of the Ross River virus in SA this year. Last year, it was only 48. This virus from deadly mosquitoes is not fatal. But it can cause rashes, joint pain, and fever. New South Wales has the West Nile Virus. Other mosquitoes there carry the Kokobera virus (a kind of flavivirus) is now present in the SA’s Riverland.

These viruses develop a febrile condition. Most patients are asymptomatic. A small percentage develops encephalitis. This condition can cause lasting neurological damage or be fatal.

Searching for the Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV)

Having encephalitis can cause fever and confusion
Having encephalitis can cause fever and confusion

The Department of Primary Industries and Regions has started surveillance for JEV. This is usually present only in the Torres Strait. JEV includes mosquitoes and waterfowl in its life cycle. The virus then infects horses and pigs. So far, there is still no JEV presence in livestock in SA.

Possible Outbreak

Pork producers and farmers are well-prepared for a possible outbreak. They take matters of biosecurity seriously. They have tremendous efforts in combatting these insects. The meat is never affected by the virus. Only a handful of pigs get to have this infection.

The Concern

Any of the viruses being spread by deadly mosquitoes is a cause for concern. An infection has the potential to kill you. These diseases used to be isolated across Torres Strait, Queensland, and the Northern Territory. Yet, the rainy season pushed the virus to spread to Victoria and New South Wales. The species of deadly mosquitoes is Culex annulirostris. It is the main vector of infection.

More people are suffering from deadly mosquitoes
More people are suffering from deadly mosquitoes

This species of deadly mosquitoes likes flooded areas or any area with stagnant water. This species can also fly long distances, which is ideal for spreading infections.

The Great Risk

There have been 28 horses infected by these deadly mosquitoes in 11 counties. High rates of infection in horses mean that humans are at high risk. Experts keep reminding the health department to urge people to cancel outdoor activities at night or at dusk. Protecting children against deadly mosquitoes is important.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

EEE is the most life-threatening mosquito disease in the country. A person can be infected by a vector mosquito. People below 15 years old and at least 50 years old are the most at risk of contracting the severe disease after the infection. The disease is now in Michigan.

Fighting Deadly Mosquitoes is Vital

Hospitalization is needed for these mosquito-borne diseases
Hospitalization is needed for these mosquito-borne diseases

Female mosquitoes are reliable and aggressive predators. They are also effective vectors in transmitting the mentioned viruses. Becoming infected can mean dealing with a serious disease or death. Efforts to stop the spread includes protecting yourself from mosquito bites.