After the bite, the child began crying and complaining of a headache, which pain medication seemed to solve until the next morning when the pain returned. However, this time he wasn’t responding and his lips went blue and he suffered a seizure.
A spinal tap showed the boy had La Crosse encephalitis (LACV), which is a virus caused by mosquito bites in some areas of the United States. The virus causes fluid to build up around the brain and can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness.
It can also cause seizures, coma and paralysis. Studies reveal severe cases involve children under the age of 16.
La Crosse encephalitis has no specific treatment. Physicians typically resort to intravenous fluids and respiratory support to treat severe cases.
Make sure your children are protected at home with insect screens and a good, natural insect repellent when outdoors. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants outside whenever possible. Finally, remove mosquito breeding sites by draining water from tyres, buckets, and flower pots.