'Never thought a mosquito bite would do this': Mom sounds alarm after son lands in hospital
A North Carolina mother is warning about the dangers of mosquito bites after her six-year-old son nearly died after contracting a virus from an infected mosquito.
LoriAnne Surrette wrote in a Facebook post that her son Noah was hospitalized after he began suffering from severe headaches and seizures. His lips were blue, his eyes had rolled back and he was completely limp, she wrote in the post.
Doctors diagnosed him with La Crosse Encephalitis, a virus transmitted through mosquito bites that can cause inflammation of the brain, and in some cases, coma and paralysis.
Roughly 70 cases of La Crosse Encephalitis are reported in Canada each year, according to Health Canada. The figure is the same in the U.S., according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus is common among school-aged children and most prevalent in Midwestern and Eastern North America, particularly during warm months when mosquitoes are most active.
Most people who contract the virus experience only mild flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, nausea or headache, or no symptoms at all. But those with more severe cases can experience seizures, as Noah did.
There is no vaccine for La Crosse Encephalitis and fewer than one per cent of cases are fatal, according to Health Canada.
After a week in an intensive care unit, Noah turned a corner and was released from hospital.
“I never thought that a mosquito bite would do this to my kid,” Surrette told ABC News.