Not All Mosquitoes Are The Same
Different mosquitoes spread different viruses and bite at different times of the day
Chikungunya virus is a pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes, Chikungunya virus in Florida in July of 2014. As of July 22, 2014, The name “Chikungunya” is attributed to the Kimakonde (a
Mozambique dialect) word meaning “that which bends up”, which describes the primary symptom – excruciating joint pain. Although rarely fatal, the symptoms are debilitating and may persist for several
weeks. There is no vaccine and primary treatment is limited to pain medication.
The mosquito species that transmit this disease are the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Genetically, it appears that viral strain currently spreading throughout the Americas is more easily transmitted by Ae. aegypti. Both species lay their eggs in containers such as cans, discarded tires and other items that hold water close to human habitation, but Ae. aegypti is more geographically confined to the southeastern United States.
West Nile Virus
Mosquitoes that have been infected by feeding on birds that have the virus transmit the West Nile virus to humans.
In rare instances, the virus can be spread from person to person through organ donation, blood transfusion, breastfeeding or from pregnant mother to fetus, health officials said.
The disease affects the nervous system, and up to 80% of people who are infected will not display any signs of illness at all. Those who have underlying health conditions, however, could become seriously ill.
People who do develop illness may experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches; occasionally, a skin rash and swollen lymph glands may be noticed. Symptoms can last a few days or as long as several weeks. People who are older than 50 years or have immunocompromised conditions can become seriously ill.
"We urge people to be vigilant and take steps to avoid infection.
West Nile virus was detected in the U.S. for the first time in 1999, and the number of Marylanders infected with the virus fluctuates each season. In 2019, there were seven people who were confirmed positive in the state, one in 2020 and two in 2021.
Health officials recommend anyone concerned about mosquitoes to cover up exposed skin and use an insect repellent registered with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Residents should also monitor yards and gardens for areas of high mosquito activity, especially standing water that can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. This includes small amounts of water in a discarded can or container, which can support dozens of mosquitoes, as will clogged rain gutters or drain pipes.