Recent Blog Articles

Staying Healthy

Getting protection from bug-borne illnesses

This summer, it's especially important to take precautions against mosquitoes and ticks.

bug-borne illnesses ticks zika mosquitos
 Image: Rene Drouyer/Thinkstock

You're no doubt aware that a mosquito bite can transmit the Zika virus and that pregnant women infected with the virus may have babies with microcephaly—incomplete brain development. Although Zika is getting the most attention this summer, mosquitoes and ticks carrying the pathogens responsible for other conditions, including West Nile fever, Lyme disease, encephalitis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are still at large in areas of the United States.

While scientists work to develop vaccines against these illnesses, the best protection is still prevention. "One thing everyone can do is to reduce their risk of exposure," says Dr. Mary E. Wilson, adjunct associate professor of global health and population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Getting the best protection depends on the type of bug you're protecting yourself against.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.