Mosquitoes affect the health of people and animals more than any other insect pest worldwide. Biting female mosquitoes transmit many infectious agents that cause diseases such as encephalitis, malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Zika virus, and yellow fever. Mosquito populations exist throughout Texas, and some species are known to be disease vectors (carriers).
Symptoms & Treatment of Zika Infections
- Unlike West Nile virus, Zika rarely causes serious illness or death.
- Four of five people who get Zika virus won’t even know they are sick
- Common symptoms of Zika include: fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, muscle pain, headache
- If you are pregnant and contract Zika, you do not have to feel sick to pass the virus to your unborn baby.
- Contact your doctor if you have: fever, joint pain, red or itchy eyes, rash
- Symptoms typically occur 2–7 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.
- There is no specific medicine or vaccine for Zika virus. Treat the symptoms.
Zika is a disease spread by:
- Bite of an infected mosquito
- Infected woman to child during pregnancy
- Infected male to partner during sex
If you are pregnant when or soon after you contract Zika, your unborn baby may develop a severe birth defect known as microcephaly. Microcephaly causes an unusually small head, brain damage, and often death.
Additional Zika Resources
- What Texans Need to Know about Zika Virus (pdf)
- Zika Precautions for Women Infographic (.jpg image) (Spanish Version)
- Zika in Texas – TexasZika.org
- CDC Recommendations
- Zika 360
West Nile Virus
Symptoms & Treatment of West Nile Virus Infections
- No symptoms in most people
- About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
- Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis
- No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available. Treat the symptoms.
West Nile Virus and Horses
- Transmitted from bird to mosquito to horse
- About 40% of horses that contract West Nile Virus die
- West Nile Virus in horses: diagnostic guidance for veterinarians (pdf)
Additional West Nile Virus Resources
There are occasional cases of Dengue Fever in Texas that have been linked to travel. The mosquito that transmits Dengue Fever is found in Texas primarily in the Gulf coast and extreme southern parts of Texas.
There are occasional cases of Chickungunya in Texas have been linked to travel, however, DSHS recently announced first Texas-Acquired Chikungunya case in May of 2016.
- Chikungunya Virus information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Mosquito Control at Home and in the Yard
- Mosquito Control Videos
- How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
- Mosquito Repellents
- Mosquito Control Products
- Events & News
- About Extension Entomology
- Mosquito Control (main page)
Ask an Extension expert your question about West Nile Virus in Horses or other Mosquito Control topics.