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Mosquitoes can bring disease, not just annoying bites

Diseases like West Nile virus and Zika
PHOTO: Mosquito, Photo Date: 8/25/2017
Posted at 6:48 PM, May 14, 2021

KINGVILLE, Texas — Mosquitoes are more than just a small threat; they can also bring disease to you too. They are more likely to be attracted to places that have water and mostly come out during hot months.

Dr. James Mobley, the health authority for San Patricio County, said even having water in something as small as a water bottle cap can attract mosquitoes.

He said the most common disease spread by mosquitoes here in America is West Nile virus and that San Patricio County sees West Nile virus regularly. He said Easter Equine Encephalitis is another disease that could be spread by mosquitoes. Only a few cases have been reported in the U.S., but 30 percent of the people who get it die. Unfortunately, Mobley said there isn’t a vaccine to protect yourself against the diseases mosquitoes carry.

He said the more mosquito bites you have, the more likely you are to get an infection from one of those bites.

“The most likely complication is infection which can come from the scratching and all that, and some people are more vulnerable to infection than others. Usually it’s what we call MRSA which is the highly resistant bacteria, best treated with just soap and water,” he said.

He said mosquitoes want to get some of your blood and can also carry diseases into your blood, which can cause illnesses or complications.

“If it’s infected with any of these viruses or with malaria then that goes in when the mosquito is injecting this into your body. That’s also what causes the reaction and makes it itchy and everything like that,” Mobley said.

Mobley said that he recommends following the 4 D’s: Dusk and Dawn, Dress, Deet, and Drain water.

Dusk and dawn refers to the times mosquitoes bite you the most and he recommends avoiding going outside during those times.

Dress refers to what you wear and he recommends wearing long sleeves and pants so the mosquitoes have a harder time biting you.

Deet refers to diethylmetatoluamide, the main active ingredient in many insect repellent products.

Drain water is the most self-explanatory and refers to draining any unnecessary water that can attract mosquitoes.

However, resident of Kingsville Nancy Reimer said because she lives by a creek, she’s often bitten by many mosquitoes, especially at night and during the day. She said sometimes insect repellent isn’t enough, so she bought citronella plants to repel the mosquitoes.

“We have a bad mosquito problem early in the mornings and later on in the evenings. It’s almost unbearable. We don’t even come outside whenever it’s those times of the day because you can't stay out here for more than a few minutes,” Reimer said.

Reimer said that sometimes the City of Robstown sprays the street for mosquitoes, but she hasn’t seen the city spray recently and that makes it hard for her girls to go outside and play.

“I have three girls and one of them is four and she always wants to be outside and I have to constantly tell her no we can't go and I have to spray her all the time before we go because she has really bad bites,” Reimer said.