Mosquito-Borne Illnesses in Florida and Georgia

closeup of adult mosquito, found in Florida and Georgia spreading mosquito-borne illnesses

Living in warmer climates has many perks, such as sunny days and lush landscapes. However, these environments also foster increased risks of mosquito-borne illnesses from a significant mosquito population.

In Florida and Georgia, several mosquito-borne diseases pose threats, including Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Being aware of these illnesses, their symptoms, and prevention methods can help mitigate the risk of infection. And keep in mind that the best way to reduce the chances of these diseases is with professional mosquito control.

Dengue Fever in Florida and Georgia

Dengue fever has sparked significant conversation recently, especially regarding its potential spread in the United States. As of late May 2024, Florida has over 140 localized cases of Dengue – while Georgia has 12 cases from traveling outside the U.S.

Since Dengue Fever is present in over 100 countries, the CDC tracks cases of Dengue fever for further research.

Symptoms of Dengue fever include:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Skin rash
  • Mild bleeding and easy bruising

How Is Dengue Fever Transmitted?

Dengue fever is transmitted when an Aedes mosquito bites an infected human and becomes a carrier. Dengue fever is not transmitted from person to person. Transmission in areas where dengue fever is only a high risk in areas that already have many cases of infection. 

While the Aedes mosquito exists in many places, the absence of Dengue significantly reduces the risk of transmission. Mosquitoes have very short lives, which further decreases the chances of infection. 

West Nile Virus in Florida and Georgia

West Nile Virus has been seen in cases in Florida and Georgia in recent years. The last case in Florida was reported in late April 2024, and late September 2023 in Georgia.

The virus often results in flu-like symptoms and can occasionally lead to severe neurological illnesses. About one in five of those infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as rash, vomiting, and body aches. Other symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Numbness
  • Headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss

How Is West Nile Virus Transmitted?

This virus is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes, mainly by the Culex species. Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, eliminating these water sources around properties can significantly reduce their populations.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in Georgia and Florida

Though it is less common than other mosquito-borne diseases, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is another significant concern in Georgia and Florida – especially since horse breeding is a major industry in the region.

As the name suggests, horses are more at risk of catching EEE. Symptoms they display if infected include blindness, seizures, lethargy, and depression. It can become a serious condition, with some infected suffering from ongoing neurological problems. There is no EEE vaccine for humans, but there is for horses.

Similar to West Nile Virus cases, Georgia reported a case of EEE in late September of 2023 while Florida reported its latest case in late April 2024.

Symptoms of (human-infected) EEE can include

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

How Is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) Transmitted?

The EEE virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. These mosquitoes are typically found breeding in freshwater hardwood swamps in the southeastern or Atlantic regions. 

Malaria in Florida

As of early 2024, Malaria is mostly controlled in the Southeastern U.S. However, Florida still sees sporadic cases, primarily due to travelers. The last known cases were reported in late 2023. Unlike its neighboring state, Georgia does not have local transmission of malaria, making Florida unique in the region.

We’re the Mosquito Control Experts in Thomasville

Despite the significant global impact of mosquito-borne illnesses, the risk of encountering them in Florida and Georgia remains minimal. For those in Thomasville, Dixon Pest Services is dedicated to providing effective mosquito control solutions that keep your home safe from the threats of mosquito-borne diseases. 

Our experts are dedicated to ensuring the safety and comfort of your home and community, effectively mitigating the risks associated with mosquitoes. Take control of your outdoor space and protect your family from mosquito-borne diseases.

Contact us for a free service quote!