The world’s deadliest animal is unmistakable… It’s the common mosquito. Most discount this deadly killer due to it’s rather small size but make no mistake, its ability to spread disease is uncanny. While it’s true the initial damage inflicted by it’s bite is more of a nuisance, the true dangers of the species are found in it’s ability to circumvent the immune system with a direct blood transfusion. They are also a major health issue for dogs, cats, horses and livestock. I’m pretty sure everyone with a family dog is familiar with heart worms but that folks, is just the tip of the deadly iceberg.
This year we have been introduced to the Chikungunya virus which causes fever and joint pain as well as headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash. There is no known vaccine. Some species can also carry West Nile, a particularly dangerous virus that can cause swelling of the brain and spinal cord commonly referred to as encephalitis. Experts conclude 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will go on to develop a severe form of the disease. Other viral diseases carried by mosquitoes is Dengue Fever, also known as “break bone fever” and Eastern Equine encephalitis (EEE) or sleeping Sickness. Triple E is quite similar to the West Nile virus, but more severe with a human-case fatality rate of over 50%. Then there is the LaCrosse encephalitis virus. It’s symptoms can range from mild aseptic meningitis all the way to severe encephalitis and ultimately death.