Did You Know?
Here’s part 2 of our series on what you need to know about bug borne illnesses especially if you are traveling to areas that are known to have these diseases.
We all know that mosquito bites cause itchy bumps but they can also be responsible for a number of illnesses. Mosquitoes are known to transmit West Nile virus, Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya as well as Yellow fever and Malaria through their bites. Some of these illnesses previously just seen in other countries are now being seen in the continental United States.
What are the symptoms of some of these illnesses seen most frequently in the US?
West Nile Virus – A majority of people have no symptoms at all. A small number may develop fever, headache, body aches and joint pain. Most people recover completely. A few may have weakness and fatigue that lasts for weeks or months. As few as 1 % may develop more serious neurological issues.
Zika – Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain or red eyes. Pregnant women are at risk of passing on serious birth defects to their unborn child. Zika can also be passed through sex from an infected individual to their partners. Symptoms generally resolve quickly in most people.
Dengue – Most people who are infected have mild to no symptoms. A small number will develop fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, join pain and rash.
Chikungunya – Sudden onset of high fever, headache, joint pain and swelling or rash are among the most common symptoms. Most patients completely recover but pain can last in some people.
How do you protect yourself?
Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are known to bite
Wear long sleeves and long pants
Use an insect repellent that is right for you.
What do you do if you plan to travel to a country where mosquito borne illness is an issue? Learn about the possible health related risks and advice from the CDC by visiting: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
You can also schedule a travel consult visit with Student Health Services at 516-463-6745 or see a private travel doctor.
To find a repellent that is right for you: https://www.epa.gov/insect-repellents/find-repellent-right-you