Mosquito and Tick-Borne Diseases: Introduction


Mosquitoes serve as vectors, or carriers, of the malaria parasite. Bloodthirsty mosquitoes and ticks also carry disease-causing bacteria and viruses, which can be passed on to people when they are bitten by the bugs. And unlike malaria, which isn't endemic to the United States, these other mosquito- and tick-borne diseases are sometimes found in our own backyards.

This section covers three mosquito-borne diseases and two tick-borne diseases. The first two, yellow fever and dengue, are also called hemorrhagic fevers, because one of their symptoms is small hemorrhages under the skin. Diseases like Lyme are spread by ticks, while West Nile is spread by mosquitoes. West Nile doesn't cause many infections but it has caused a great deal of panic due to heavy media attention in the United States.

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Dangerous Diseases and Epidemics © 2002 by David Perlin, Ph.D., and Ann Cohen. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.