Mosquito Borne Diseases

Zika virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, and there is no indication that it can spread person to person through casual contact. Zika virus can be spread through sexual contact.

Pregnant Women

Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe brain defects. It is also linked to other problems, such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and other birth defects.

Pregnant women should take special precautions to avoid the Zika Virus such as


Prevent the risk of Zika transmission by

  • Avoiding areas with mosquitoes
  • Wear light colored clothing, long sleeves and pants
  • Use an approved mosquito repellant such as DEET
  • Remove Standing water around your home to prevent mosquito breeding

West Nile virus (WNV) is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

Most people are infected in Ohio by the northern house mosquito, Culex pipiens. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals when they bite.

Mosquitoes and Prevention

AVOID mosquitoes and mosquito bites

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors or wear clothing treated with permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent for extra protection.
  • Take care during peak mosquito biting hours, perhaps avoiding outdoor activity and wearing appropriate clothing.

PLAN ahead for mosquitoes while traveling

  • Check travel notices for mosquito-borne and other disease transmission updates. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Travelers' Health website to search for the latest health notices for the country you're traveling to.
  • Speak to your healthcare provider about your travel plans and measures you can take to reduce your risk of mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Pack appropriately to protect yourself from mosquitoes by bringing insect repellents, appropriate clothing and mosquito netting if sleeping outdoors or in unscreened structures.

STOP mosquitoes from breeding in and around your home

  • Reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by discarding and emptying water-holding containers and using products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at many garden and home improvement stores, to control mosquito larvae in containers that are too large to empty.
  • Keep mosquitoes outside by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors.

Taking these steps will help protect against mosquito-borne La CrosseWest Nile and Zika viruses.