Rarely, mosquito-borne diseases can cause serious problems, such as encephalitis,
a swelling of the brain.
How Are Mosquito-Borne Diseases Treated?
Most mosquito-borne diseases do not have specific treatments. Someone with a mosquito-borne
infection should get plenty of fluids and rest. Doctors will treat symptoms, such
as fever or pain, and watch for any problems.
There are prevention medicines and specific treatments for malaria.
Can Mosquito-Borne Diseases Be Prevented?
The best protection against mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent bites by infected
mosquitoes. Be sure to:
Use screens on doors and windows, and repair broken or damaged screens right away.
Keep unscreened doors and windows shut.
Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes, and socks outside, and use mosquito
netting over beds.
Use insect repellent as
directed. Choose one with DEET or picaridin. For kids over 3 years old, you also can
use oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Limit time outside around dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
Don't give mosquitoes places to breed. They lay their eggs in water, so get rid
of standing water in things like buckets, trash cans, and tires. Empty and clean birdbaths,
dog bowls, and flowerpots at least once a week.
Vaccines can prevent some mosquito-borne illnesses, such as dengue fever, yellow
fever, and Japanese encephalitis. Talk to your doctor if you live or travel to places
where mosquito-borne diseases are found.