Mosquitoes carry serious diseases, infecting millions of people worldwide each year. The most common existing or potential mosquito-borne viruses and parasites in South Carolina include West Nile virus , eastern equine encephalitis virus , La Crosse encephalitis and other California serogroup viruses, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and dog/cat heartworm.
Mosquito-borne diseases include:
- Brain inflammation (encephalitis-causing viruses)
- Birth defects
- Internal bleeding (hemorrhagic viruses)
- Worms (filarial nematodes)
- Single-celled parasites
All of the diseases listed above (except chikungunya virus) have been important in the United States in the past. Presently, only the encephalitis-causing viruses (except chikungunya) and the heartworm parasite continue to occur with some frequency in the United States.
Viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever, as well as parasites that cause filariasis and malaria can be encountered while traveling outside of the United States and possibly be imported back into the United States. Within the United States, local transmission of dengue virus has occurred in Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.
Protect Yourself from Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Mosquito control agencies throughout South Carolina are responsible for providing mosquito control to help protect residents from annoying bites and diseases.
You can help protect your family's health by using safe mosquito repellants and by eliminating mosquito breeding sites on your property.