Mosquito-Borne Diseases

  • Mosquito bite prevention is the best way to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne disease.

    • Use insect repellant
    • Wear protective clothing, long sleeve and pants
    • Remove any standing water around your home

    Zika Virus Disease

    Zika is a virus that is primarily spread through mosquito bites. Transmission may also be spread from mother to child during pregnancy. Spread of the virus through blood transfusion and sexual contact has also been reported.

    Most people infected with the virus generally display mild or no symptoms. Those that develop symptoms may display mild illness that can last several days or up to several weeks. The most common symptoms of the Zika virus are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

    Pregnant woman or woman that may become pregnant should be cautious in active Zika areas. The virus has been linked to the birth defect microcephaly, a condition where a baby's head is much smaller than expected and may cause developmental delays.

    Most cases in Texas are related to people infected through mosquito bites while traveling to areas where Zika is being spread. Travel guidance and further information is available through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

    West Nile Virus

    West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. In North America, cases of West Nile virus (WNV) occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall. WNV cases have been reported in all of the continental United States. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not have symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. More information the West Nile virus can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Dengue Virus

    Dengue is caused by any one of four related viruses transmitted by mosquitoes. There are not yet any vaccines to prevent infection with dengue virus and the most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. When infected, early recognition and prompt supportive treatment can substantially lower the risk of medical complications. More information about Dengue can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Chikungunya Virus

    Chikungunya (pronunciation: chik-en-gun-ye) virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. More information on Chikungunya can be found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.