Viral encephalitis represents inflammation of the brain tissue caused by the presence of certain viruses and reaction of the immune system to these infective agents. There are many viruses capable of causing viral encephalitis. Some of them are transmitted via mosquito bite.
Mosquitoes are only vectors that transmit viruses from one infected person to other, previously healthy individual. There are several types of mosquito born encephalitis some of which occur only in specific areas of the world.
Types of Mosquito Born Encephalitis
La Crosse encephalitis affects people in the United States, to be more precise in Midwest, mid-Atlantic and southeastern regions of the country. Patients typically develop fever, headache and suffer from nausea and vomiting. Lethargy is common too. Severe form of this viral encephalitis may affect children under the age of 16. They may end up with seizures, paralysis, coma or permanent brain damage.
Eastern equine encephalitis is found in eastern, Gulf Coast and Midwest America. This viral encephalitis leads to fever, headache and muscle pain and may have similar complications to the previously mentioned infection.
Japanese encephalitis is distributed throughout Asia. Mild cases are characterized by fever, headache and vomiting while complications include severe brain damage. This viral infection can be prevented with a vaccine.
St. Louise encephalitis occurs in the Unites States. It at first affects the brain and causes fever and headache and may also spread to the meninges.
Venezuelan equine encephalitis is distributed in Central and South America. This type of encephalitis is characterized by flu-like symptoms.
Western encephalitis occurs in people living in the Unites States and Canada. Symptoms are basically mild and include malaise, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. More complex disease is associated with altered mental status, brain damage. Additional spread of the infection to the meninges is accompanied by more severe symptoms and worsening of the already existing ones.
Finally, West Nile virus encephalitis is reported in Africa, West Asia, Europe, Middle East and the United States. The condition may be asymptomatic or patients develop flu-like symptoms.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
In order to prevent mosquito born meningitis from developing, one is due to apply all the possible preventive measures against mosquito bites.
In order to avoid mosquito bites, one is supposed to stay away from mosquito-infested areas. The most active time of the day for mosquitoes is the early evening, so if one must be outdoors he/she should avoid coming out at least at this time of the day. Long pants and long-sleeved shirts may be efficient in preventing mosquito bites while spending time in wooded areas or near lakes/ponds. Also one should always apply a mosquito repellent.
Public measures include eradication of these insects by spraying insecticide in the areas where mosquitoes breed (lakes, ponds, roadside ditches etc). All people must be fully informed about how to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Finally, people must learn how to eliminate standing water near their households which represents an excellent place for mosquitoes to breed.