Director: David Fiess, MPA Phone: (260) 449-7459 FAX: (260) 449-7460 Email:
Location: 2242 Carroll Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46818 Hours: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday
Meet the Staff: Josh Blauvelt, BS, CHHS, Asst. Director; Tom McCue, BS, Env. Health Specialist II; Francis Koch, Env.Technician; Trina Riecke, Lead Case Manager; Cindy Wable, Lead Case Coordinator/Env. Technician; Pat De Haven, Secretary Seasonal Mosquito Technicians

Mosquitoes - Diseases

Mosquitoes kill more people than sharks, but people are more afraid of sharks than mosquitoes.  The insects are responsible for the spread of many diseases throughout the world.  Yellow fever, malaria, dengue, and elephantitus are common in tropical regions.  For those of us living in the Midwest, encephalitis is the disease of most concern.

Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, which can be caused by a mosquito-borne virus.  The onset of the disease is usually sudden and the symptoms may include high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, dizziness, drowsiness progressing into a coma, muscular twitching, and convulsions.  Some patients have speech difficulties, are mentally confused, lethargic, and show tremors of the tongue, lips, and hands, while others are irritable, confused or irrational.  In some cases, there may be spastic paralysis.  The eyes may be involved, causing double vision in the individual.  Reflexes, such as the knee jerk, are exaggerated. 

In Indiana, there are four kinds of mosquito-borne encephalitis of major concern:  West Nile virus (WNv), LaCrosse Encephalitis (LAC), St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE), and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE).

For descriptions of the diseases, click on the brochure, Bug Off, or visit the CDC's website at

National Human Arboviral Disease Cases, 1999 - 2014


WNv Information for Health Professionals







When traveling to other parts of the world, check the CDC's website to determine if any prevention measures are necessary for mosquito-borne diseases, such as chikungunya, dengue, malaria, and yellow fever.


The Fort Wayne - Allen County Department of Health does not pick up dead birds.  We would like you to still call in with the address where the bird was found (260 449-7459).  We use the Department's Geographic Information System (GIS) to map the locations of dead birds and place adult mosquito traps wherever there are clusters of dead birds.  The bird can be picked up by an inverted bag or shovel.  Place the bird in a bag, tie the bag, and place it into another bag.  Then dispose of in the trash.


Bookmark and Share

More Articles:   General Information FAQ Animal Bites & Rabies Bed Bugs Built Environment Childhood Lead Poisoning Childhood Lead Screening Children's Environmental Health Protection Cockroaches Healthy Homes Indoor Air Quality Integrated Pest Management Lodging Establishments Meth Labs Mold Mosquitoes Mosquitoes - Biology Mosquitoes - Prevention & Control Pests & Other Vectors Radon Rats & Mice - Biology & Diseases Rats & Mice - Control Ticks Unsanitary Conditions Unwanted Refrigerators & Freezers

Photo Gallery

Click thumbnail to see large image.
  • Trina Riecke, Lead Case Manager, conducts a developmental assessment of a lead-poisoned child.
  • Lucky the Lead Free Lemur is a mascot of the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.  He appears at health fairs and other events to promote lead prevention.
  • This engorged American Dog Tick was pulled off a human.  To prevent tick attachment, wear light-colored clothing, long pants with the bottoms placed into the top of socks, and apply a DEET-product to your clothing.  Check your clothing and body after exiting a high grass or wooded area.
  • De-rimmed tires breed mosquitoes and can provide drinking water for rats.  Culex species, ones that can carry WNv, and Ae. triseriatus, carrier of LaCrosse Encephalitis, use tires as a habitat when in the larval form.  The sun heats the black rubber allowing for increased mosquito production, even when it is cool out.  Tires should be properly disposed of or covered to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • A female Culex mosquito laying an egg raft, which can consist of 200-300 eggs.
  • A blood sample to be tested for lead is taken from a capillary in the tip of the finger.
  • Mold needs water to grow.  Remove the water source and there won't be a mold problem.
  • The American dog tick is the largest tick in Indiana and can carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Children enjoy meeting Lucky the Lead Free Lemur.
  • Sticky traps are a great tool to catch cockroaches.
  • Trina Riecke educates a citizen about how to maintain a healthy and safe home.
  • Rats like to eat grease, as can be seen in the pan on the stove.
  • Educating the public on Vector-borne diseases is an on-going effort.
  • Ae. triseriatus, a carrier of LaCrosse Encephalitis, lays her eggs in treeholes and containers.
  • Mosquito larvae
  • Cockroach infestation in kitchen cabinet.
  • Mosquitofish can be placed into ornamental ponds to eat mosquito larvae.  The fish only get to be an inch in length.
  • Un-maintained swimming pools are perfect for breeding the mosquitoes that can carry West Nile virus.
  • Double whammy for mosquito breeding - uncovered boat with un-rimmed tire in it.
  • Notice the pop can the rats tried pulling into a burrow.
  • This rat ate poison bait stored in a secure station.
  • Bed bugs do not transmit diseases, but their bites can become infected if scratched too much.
  • Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. Free radon test kits are available at the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health.
  • Ingredients taken from a meth lab that was found in a house.
Did You Know?

Mosquitoes do not transmit HIV or AIDS.