(WSYR-TV) — With summer here, many people are taking to the outdoors. Whether it’s golfing with friends or hanging out with the family, it’s inevitable to avoid malignant mosquitos.

Although there are many ways to protect yourself, it’s good to understand the detrimental capacity a single mosquito bite can have on you, especially if left untreated.

Mosquitos carry diseases like the West Nile Virus (WNV) and the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), both viruses that can have life-threatening symptoms.

Symptoms of EEE

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), EEE can give you symptoms similar to the flu, such as fever, chills, body aches, and joint pain. In most cases, people recover from the illness 1-2 weeks after the initial mosquito bite.

If symptoms get worse, it could be a sign that the disease is attacking the brain. Symptoms at this stage of EEE include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Behavioral changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Coma

The CDC shares the following statistics on EEE:

  • 1/3 of people with EEE die within 2-10 days after symptoms appear
  • Survivors can be left with long-term impairments like brain dysfunction or seizures
  • Severe impairments can require long-term care and survivors can die within a few years

Symptoms of WNV

WNV can be just as deadly. The CDC shares that most of those infected will have no symptoms.

However, about 1 in 5 people will develop a fever with other symptoms when they have WNV, like:

  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Joint pains
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash

If symptoms continue and worsen, which will happen to about 1 out of 150 people, the CDC urges a hospital visit.

The CDC shares the following statistics on WNV:

  • Elderly individuals and the immunocompromised are at a greater risk for severe illness if they are infected
  • Severe illness recovery can take several weeks to months or may be permanent
  • 1 in 10 people who develop central nervous system complications die

According to ongov.net, adults over 50 years of age and children younger than 15 are most at risk and have the highest chance of becoming severely ill from infection.

Dead birds can also carry WNV, but the New York State Department of Health is no longer testing birds for the virus. If you discover a dead bird on your property, the CDC urges you to wear disposable gloves when picking the bird up, put it in the bag, double bag it, then throw it away.

Protecting yourself from mosquito bites

When it comes to protecting yourself from mosquito bites, there is a vast amount of products to help shield you from danger. Although you can buy products at stores such as sprays, repellants, and other things, there are more ways to keep safe inside and outdoors.

Spraying — particularly aerial spraying — can help protect large areas. Aerial spraying is more beneficial than truck spraying because the spray covers areas that a truck cannot reach. If a truck is attempting to spray a swamp, it can only go around the perimeter, while a plane can cover the entire landscape.

Mosquitos require water to reproduce, so if you have any water around your home, be sure to empty it to prevent mosquitos. This even includes water from a kitty pool, watering can, or cups of water.

If you have stagnant water you can’t empty, consider treating the water with mosquito dunks. These products contain bacteria that kill mosquito larva before they take flight and spread disease.

If you are outdoors during the dawn or dusk hours, when mosquitos are most active, you should wear pants, a long sleeve shirt, shoes, and socks. You can also spray clothes with bug spray to further prevent mosquito bites.

Statistics in Onondaga County

Onondaga County started trapping mosquitos at the end of May. So far, Onondaga County has trapped 49,998 mosquitos. None have tested posted for WNV or EEE.

Week EndingMosquitos TrappedMosquito Pools Tested
June 29,03818
June 98,09936
June 1617,13542
June 2315,72641
June 3024,73650
July 712,21847
July 1417,43856
July 214,34841
2022 Onondaga County Vector Mosquito Control Program

The highest single month trapping of mosquitos was the week ending of July 5, 2018, when 38,011 mosquitos were trapped.

You can see a full list of statistics for years 2018-2022 on the Onondaga County mosquito tracking page.