In the wake of the West Nile virus case announced Thursday in New Mexico, experts want the public to be aware that mosquitos can carry other diseases too.
Aside from the West Nile virus, mosquitoes can spread the Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue and yellow fever to humans as well, just to name a few, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC).
Mosquitos find refuge in warmer places when temperatures dip in order to survive. These areas can include garages, sheds and beneath homes.
Mosquito bites can result in itchiness but also a range of mild to rare, severe illnesses. The best way to avoid illness is to prevent mosquito bites, the agency says.
Methods of prevention include insect repellent, covering up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants and keeping mosquitoes out of the home by shutting windows and using the air conditioner, or screened windows and doors.
The CDC says there are no vaccines or medicines available for most viruses spread by mosquitoes, with the exception of Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Travelers planning on visiting areas at-risk of those viruses should get the proper vaccinations.
Upon return, travelers are advised to prevent mosquito bites because potentially contracted viruses could be spread to uninfected mosquitoes.
Watch out for symptoms like fever, headache, muscle, joint pain and rash after traveling — contact your medical provider right away and disclose your travel history.
West Nile Virus is the most common virus spread through infected mosquitoes in the U.S., while Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands claim home to dengue, Zika and chikungunya.
Find more guidance from the CDC on mosquito-related illnesses here.