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Infectious Disease

How dangerous are mosquito bites?

Mosquito bites are often just itchy and uncomfortable, but they could lead to something much worse.

We recently received this question from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,
How risky are mosquito bites?
Thanks,
Nadia

Mosquitoes are carriers for certain diseases, some of which can be deadly. In the United States, West Nile virus is the most common and dangerous mosquito-transmitted disease. Mosquitoes also transmit malaria, dengue fever and chikungunya.

Common symptoms of these diseases include fever, body aches, dizziness and confusion.

These symptoms can pop up two days to two weeks after a mosquito bite. If you get bitten and develop flu-like symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

Your chances of being infected with a disease through a mosquito bite are very small, and there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten.

--Cover your skin as much as you can when you’re outside and mosquitoes are active.
--Use insect repellent on exposed skin
--Make sure there are screens on all the windows and doors in your home and that you cover any rips or tears in them.
--Avoid having standing water around your home.

Do you have a health question? Email them to me at DrManny@FoxNews.com.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's Senior Managing Editor for Health News. Prior to this position, Alvarez was a FNC medical contributor. Click here more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center.
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