Summer Warning: 10 Viruses Mosquitos Can Spread – And 10 They Can’t

Mosquito season is upon us, bringing not just itchy bites but potential health risks. Ever wonder which viruses are a real threat in your backyard?

1. West Nile Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / Vadym Pastukh

Found across all states, West Nile Virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in the continental U.S. Most people show no symptoms, but it can be severe.

2. Eastern Equine Encephalitis

Image credit: Shutterstock / Drazen Zigic

Though rare, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is found in freshwater hardwood swamps in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and the Great Lakes region. It’s as serious as it is rare, with a high mortality rate.

3. Zika Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / PR Image Factory

Primarily noted in southern states, Zika virus can also surface elsewhere due to travel-related cases. Pregnant women need to be especially cautious, as Zika can cause significant birth defects.

4. Dengue Fever

Image credit: Shutterstock / Marina Demidiuk

Dengue pops up periodically in states like Florida and Texas. While mostly mild, severe cases can be life-threatening.

5. Chikungunya

Image Credit: Shutterstock /fizkes

This virus has been identified in states such as Florida and Texas. Symptoms include fever and joint pain, and they can be debilitating.

6. La Crosse Encephalitis

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

La Crosse Encephalitis occurs in the upper Midwestern, mid-Atlantic, and southeastern states. This virus typically affects children and can cause neurological damage.

7. St. Louis Encephalitis

Image Credit: Shutterstock / fizkes

Mostly found in the eastern and central states, St. Louis Encephalitis can range from mild to severe, involving inflammation of the brain.

8. Jamestown Canyon Virus

Image Credit: Shutterstock /

This virus is spread by mosquitos in mainly forested areas of the Northern United States. It’s rare but can cause serious health issues.

9. Powassan Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / Inc

Found in the Northeast and Great Lakes region, Powassan virus is transmitted more quickly than other viruses—within minutes—and can be very severe.

10. Cache Valley Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / mikumistock

Emerging in the southeastern U.S., Cache Valley Virus can cause severe disease, particularly in pregnant women, leading to birth defects in rare cases.

11. Malaria

Image credit: Shutterstock / TetianaKtv

Contrary to popular belief, malaria is not typically transmitted by mosquitos in the United States, although travelers may bring it into the country.

12. Yellow Fever

Image credit: Shutterstock / Prostock-studio

Yellow Fever is not a current risk in the U.S., and most cases are linked to travel to countries where the virus is endemic.

13. Rift Valley Fever

Image credit: Shutterstock / rickyd

While it affects animals and humans in Africa, Rift Valley Fever has not been transmitted by mosquitos in the United States.

14. Ross River Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / Darren Tierney

This virus affects people in Australia and the South Pacific but has not been spread by mosquitos in the U.S.

15. Japanese Encephalitis

Image credit: Shutterstock / SIN1980

Japanese Encephalitis remains a concern in Asia but has not been a mosquito-transmitted virus in the United States.

16. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Edge

Though it’s a concern in Central and South America, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis is not commonly transmitted by mosquitos in the United States.

17. O’nyong’nyong Virus

Image Credit: Shutter stock / NDAB Creativity

Found in Africa, the O’nyong’nyong Virus is not a threat in the U.S. and has no reported cases from local mosquito transmission.

18. Barmah Forest Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / AuthorLinyt Photography

This virus, prevalent in Australia, has not made a jump to mosquito populations in the United States.

19. Toscana Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / Lordn

Known in Mediterranean countries, Toscana Virus has not been reported as mosquito-borne in the U.S.

20. Kunjin Virus

Image credit: Shutterstock / Raphael Christinat

A subtype of West Nile, Kunjin Virus is primarily found in Australia, not the United States.

Bite Me

Image Credit: Pexel / Pixabay

Understanding which viruses pose a real threat from mosquitoes can help you take the right precautions during the summer. While some risks are more prevalent, others are thankfully still off the radar in the U.S. Stay informed, stay protected, and enjoy your summer without the worry.

The post 10 Viruses You Can Catch From Mosquitos This Summer – And 10 You Can’t first appeared on Mama Say What?!

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Olya Humeniuk.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.