Annie Hauser Published: Jul 28, 2013, 8:34 AM EDT weather.com
Summer is the season for insect-borne diseases, which sicken tens of thousands every year. Here, the host of mosquito, tick and other insect-borne diseases that strike in the United States, and what to watch for. All of the following information is from the CDC. (James Jordan/Flickr)
Last year’s hot summer caused a spike in insect illness: It was the deadliest year for West Nile on record, and a new tick-borne infection, Heartland Fever, was identified in Missouri.
(MORE: What Bit Me? Identifying Bugs and Their Bites)
Year after year, mosquitos are the deadliest insect in the United States in terms of actual deaths caused, according to the World Health Organization. Worldwide, they’re the world’s deadliest animal because of the numerous diseases they transmit — most notably malaria, which kills more than 650,000 people around the world each year, according to the WHO. (Stateside, malaria is not known to occur.)
Above, we rounded up the host of mosquito, tick and other insect-borne diseases that do strike in the United States, explaining what to watch for. All information above was provided by the CDC.
The CDC stresses that insect-borne diseases are preventable, especially those from mosquitos and ticks. To prevent mosquito-borne diseases when you’re outside, wear insect repellent, cover your arms and legs as much as possible, stay indoors at dusk and dawn and remove any potential mosquito breeding grounds, such as standing water, from your home and yard.
For ticks — which actually cause more diseases than mosquitos — wear repellent when you’re outside and also check for ticks after an outdoor experience.
Below, more dangerous critters that can bite you — but these ones use venom.