Every once in a while a scientific paper pops up in my stream that makes me think, not Cool, or Ick, but: Wow, I had no idea. I’ve just read one, published last month in Pediatrics, which definitely falls into the last category. My extreme abbreviation of the findings: On average, more than 100 children and teens each year are made dangerously ill or paralyzed by infections carried by mosquitoes, and two die.
I think of mosquito-borne infections in the United States — that is, primarily West Nile virus, and the much less well-known La Crosse virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus — as a problem of adults. I had no clue they were so dangerous to children. (And if I didn’t, most of you probably didn’t either.)
Here’s a more detailed breakdown.