Mosquito bites aren’t just annoying, they can be life threatening in developed countries, not just third world environments. These are dangerous mosquito bites.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause serious illness in people, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).
WNV was first detected in the United States in 1999, and it has since become the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the country.
There is no specific treatment for WNV, and prevention is the best way to protect yourself from the virus. The best way to prevent WNV is to avoid mosquito bites. You can do this by:
- Wearing long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Using insect repellent that contains DEET on exposed skin and clothing.
- Applying mosquito netting over your bed at night.
- Draining standing water around your home, which is where mosquitoes breed.
There is a vaccine available for people who are at high risk for WNV, such as those who are 65 years of age or older or who have certain medical conditions.
However, the vaccine is not 100% effective, so it is important to take other steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
One challenge producing a better vaccine is that WNV is a relatively new virus, and there is not a lot of information about how it works. Another challenge is that WNV can cause a variety of different symptoms, so it is difficult to develop a vaccine that will protect against all of them.
Despite the challenges, there is hope that a WNV vaccine will eventually be developed. Researchers are working on a number of different approaches, and they are making progress. In the meantime, it is important to take steps to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Interestingly, the FDA approved lab grown mosquitoes to combat disease in 2017.