Mosquito-Borne Illness

In an effort to protect public health, the City of Virginia Beach tracks adult mosquito populations and tests mosquitoes for the presence of mosquito-borne disease. The most common mosquito-borne diseases found in Virginia include West Nile virus, Eastern Equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and St. Louis encephalitis. This page also provides information about Zika virus which has the potential to spread to Virginia Beach. Disease information on this page comes from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).


 Zika Virus

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Zika is a viral disease spread to people mainly via bites of infected mosquitoes, however, the virus lives in bodily fluids and sexual transmission has been documented. 

Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected people. The virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti (Yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito).​ While both types of mosquitoes have been found in Virginia Beach, the Asian Tiger mosquito is more common.

There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available for the virus. The best defense at this point is protection against mosquito bites and the best way to protect against bites is to keep mosquitoes from breeding.


The best way to prevent Zika Virus from gaining a foothold in Virginia Beach is to keep mosquitoes from breeding.

What Can You Do?
Fight the Bite​​Mosquitoes eggs can survive in just a teaspoon of standing water. The best way to protect your family and community is to search out and eliminate standing water around your home/property at least twice a week. Please also encourage friends and neighbors to do the same.​ 

Print this "Fight the Bite: Tip & Toss Checklist​​" and keep it on your refrigerator as a reminder.

Additional tips to avoid mosquito bites:

  • If you're going to be outside, wear loose, light-colored, long-sleeved shirts/pants and treat your clothes with permethrin.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repelle​nts with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
  • Stay in places with a​​ir conditioning and window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
  • If you are camping outside (or traveling overseas), sleep under a mosquito net.
  • If you cannot eliminate standing water in your yard and it cannot be covered or dumped out (like a rain barrel or bird bath), use larvicides to treat the standing water. Larvicides may be purchased in tablet form (Mosquito dunks®) at home improvement stores. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package.


Day-to-day mosquito problems are most often the result of mosquitoes that breed in containers. Because the  types of mosquitoes that can spread the disease are active during the day, and mosquito spraying performed by Virginia Beach Mosquito Control must be done in early morning and in the evening, additional spraying is minimally effective against them. ​​

Zika Virus Symptoms

The most common symptoms are:

  • ​Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint pain 
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)

The illness is usually mild and symptoms last for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.

If you feel that you may have Zika virus, talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will contact the local health department to determine if testing is necessary.

Where do Mosquitoes that Spread Zika Live?
Mosquito area map, U.S.

This map from the CDC depicts the center's best estimate of the potential range of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes in the United States. The blue and green regions are areas where Aedes mosquitoes are currently or have been previously found.

Infections in Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health updates the numbers and locations of infections statewide once a week. 

​Zika Virus and Pregnancy​​

Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected f​rom future infections.

Traveling to Areas with Zika Outbreaks

Specific areas where Zika is spreading are often difficult to determine and are likely to change over time. If traveling, please visit the CDC Travelers' Health site for the most updated travel information​.

Even if they do not feel sick, travelers returning from an area with Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for three weeks so they do not spread Zika to mosquitoes that could spread the virus to other people.​

 Eastern Equine Encephalitis

​Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year - mostly in Atlantic and Gulf Coast states.


Most persons infected with EEEV have no apparent illness. Severe cases of EEE (involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) begin with the sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills, and vomiting. The illness may then progress into disorientation, seizures, or coma. EEE is one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States with approximately 33% mortality and significant brain damage in most survivors. There is no specific treatment for EEE; care is based on symptoms. ​

Reduce your risk of being infected with EEEV by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and staying indoors while mosquitoe​s are most active. If you think you or a family member may have EEE, it is important to consult your healthcare provider for proper diagnosis.​

 West Nile Virus

​West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Reduce your risk of being infected by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness.

Mosquito Bite Prevention & Control (CDC)
West Nile Symptoms & Treatment (CDC)
West Nile Transmission (CDC)​
Contact Information