‘World’s Deadliest Animal’ Lives in New York, Should You Be Worried?
Mosquitoes. They are my enemy. Yours too, I would imagine. I can't count how many evenings spent outside that those little annoyances cut my night short, having to escape inside my home or my camper.
I've tried repellant and those blue electric zappers, but never had any luck. Money wasted, and I would guess that if mosquitos could laugh, they'd laugh at our attempts to ward them off.
First things first. While it sounds odd that a mosquito is classified as an animal, it is actually both considered an animal and an insect according to Orkin, which goes on to state that some consider this pest to be one of the most dangerous creatures in the world.
And that is because of the diseases that they can transmit to people and wildlife. The Statista website displays a chart of the 2022 world's deadliest animals as shown by the number of human deaths.
Guess what? Mosquitoes top the list. And the chart shows that the mosquito tops the second deadliest - the snake, by a ten-to-one margin. That's quite a wide margin.
Looking to a report from the New York State Department of Health, the chance of being infected with a disease through a mosquito bite in the Empire State is minimal, but they don't rule it out.
One of the diseases transmitted by mosquitos includes Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The NYS DOH reports that approximately 5-10 human cases are reported each year in the United States and just five cases have been reported in New York State since 1971, so the odds are low of contracting this disease which can infect humans, horses, some birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other mammals.
The most common disease transmitted by mosquitoes is the West Nile Virus.
West Nile virus was first found in New York State in 1999. Since 2000, 490 human cases and 37 deaths of WNV have been reported statewide. - NYS DOH
If infected, most people don't develop signs or symptoms, according to the NYS DOH. For those who do, the symptoms will most likely happen between three to fifteen days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
There are no vaccines for either of these diseases, but the NYS DOH has the following ways to protect yourself:
- Cover your skin as completely as possible when outside when mosquitoes are present and active. Wear long sleeves, pants, and socks.
- Use insect repellent on exposed skin and follow label directions.
- Make sure there are screens in your home's windows and doors. Make sure the screens are free of rips, tears, and holes.
- Eliminate all standing water around your home and property where mosquitoes can breed.