About Us

Progressive Care with Compassion.

Protect Yourself From Mosquito-Borne Illnesses This Season

Snakes strike fear into the bravest of men. Sharks eat swimmers for lunch. Bears attack campers. However, the most dangerous animal of all is the tiny mosquito. Mosquitoes kill, maim, and inflict more pain, suffering, and death on mankind than any other animal. Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include:

  • Malaria
  • Dengue
  • West Nile virus
  • Chikungunya
  • Yellow fever
  • Filariasis
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Saint Louis encephalitis
  • Western equine encephalitis
  • Eastern equine encephalitis
  • Venezuelan equine encephalitis
  • La Crosse encephalitis
  • Zika fever 

The list of mosquito-borne illness is long!

Malaria - the most prevalent mosquito-borne illness - is not found in Nebraska. Malaria is caused by a parasite that can be transmitted by amosquito bite. Malaria is serious and can be fatal, and cases that occur in the U.S. are from travelers and immigrants. Though Nebraskans are safe, nearly half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. 

Zika virus is another mosquito-borne illness. People with Zika virus are rarely seriously ill, but the virus can have devastating effects on an unborn child when the mother gets infected with Zika. Babies may have serious, life-threatening birth defects. Zika is not yet found in mosquitoes in Nebraska, but travelers have brought the virus home with them.  Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito, but transmission can also occur from mother to her unborn child during pregnancy and through sexual contact.

West Nile Virus is found in Nebraska. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain,) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). It is spread by a mosquito bite.

There are simple protections from mosquito-borne illnesses: 

  • Don't get bit by mosquitoes! 
  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants from dusk through dawn when many mosquitoes are most active.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors.
  • If you have it, use your air conditioning. 
  • Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home. Empty standing water from containers such as flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.

The tiny mosquito is the mightiest, fiercest animal of all. That buzzing whine may signal more than just an annoyance. The bite of the mosquito is capable of causing much more than a little itch because mosquitoes can transmit serious life threatening illnesses. 

~ VCHS Infection Control Coordinator Kate Morse, RN