Would you Tune in to Mosquito Week?

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Mosquito

Abstract:

What living thing is most dangerous to humans? Sorry Shark Week, it is not the Great White Shark; it is the mosquito! In fact, “mosquitoes kill more humans worldwide in five minutes than sharks kill in a year.” (Borenstein, 2002) Many public health researchers believe 50% of the people who have ever lived, died due to a disease transmitted by a mosquito bite. (“Malaria”, 2016) (Merrill, 2005) In addition, mosquito-borne diseases have killed more people than all wars in history combined. (“Mosquitoes and disease”, 2016) The elimination of malaria has been such a high, global public health priority, that since 1902, five Noble Prizes have been awarded for scientific work associated with the eradication of this deadly disease. Despite intense public health efforts for centuries, malaria remains the most deadly disease in history. Why? The persistent, pervasive mosquito!

Main Article:                                                

The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has brought new attention to the need for global mosquito control. (Hayes, 2016) However, mosquito control has been a global public health crisis dating back thousands of years. Despite worldwide public health efforts, both today and for the past two centuries, it is estimated that 500,000 people continue to die every year from mosquito-borne diseases, primarily malaria. (“Malaria”, 2016) According to World Health Organization (WHO), there were 214 million cases of malaria worldwide in 2015, with 438,000 deaths, mainly among children under 5 years of age in Sub-Saharan Africa. (“World Malaria Report”, 2015)

500,000 people continue to die every year from mosquito-borne diseases

Malaria

Malaria is the classic, mosquito-borne disease caused by a parasite that has been a scourge for centuries, with descriptions of the disease going back at least 4,000 years (” History of Malaria”, 2016). Although there are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes, only one, the female anopheles mosquito, is responsible for spreading malaria. (” History of Malaria”, 2016) The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was established in 1946 with the principle purpose of mosquito control due to malaria. Malaria Control in War Areas- MCWA – was the predecessor of the CDC.

The CDC and U.S. public health measures were so successful that malaria was declared to be eliminated in the U.S. in the early 1950’s. (” History of Malaria”, 2016) Today, there are typically 1,500-2,000 cases each year in the U.S., mainly from travelers or immigrants from Africa or South Asia. (CDC, Malaria, 2016) Around the world, however, WHO estimates that today there are 3.2 billion people at risk of malaria transmission in 106 countries and territories. (“World Malaria Report”, 2015)

Malaria has been referred to as a “disease of poverty”. “Every two minutes, a child from Africa dies from malaria.” (“Malaria”, 2016)

Although malaria has been basically eliminated in North America, we are at risk for it being reintroduced, because the mosquitoes responsible are still prevalent. There have been 63 outbreaks of malaria in the U.S. between 1957 and 2015. (“History of Malaria”, 2016)

West Nile Virus

Another potentially deadly disease today, spread by mosquitoes, is the West Nile Virus. West Nile Virus has been detected in many species of mosquito. In this disease, people get infected when they are bitten by a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird, not another person. (” West Nile Virus”, 2015) The results are the same: a potentially deadly disease virus is spread by a mosquito bite. The majority of cases, 80%, are mild, with no signs and symptoms. Others only have a mild fever and headache that goes away without medical intervention. However, 20% of cases result in severe headache, fever, disorientation and overall weakness, requiring immediate medical attention. (” West Nile Virus”, 2015) These cases can last quite a long time. In very rare cases involving West Nile Virus (1 in150 cases), severe neuro-invasive infections may develop, including encephalitis and meningitis. Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain and is very serious and life threatening. Meningitis is a disease that also involves inflammation of the membranes (meninges) that protect the brain and spinal column, and it is also very serious and life threatening. (” West Nile Virus”, 2015)

The West Nile Virus has not been eradicated and has, in fact, spread throughout the 48 continental states in the U.S. since the first outbreak in the summer of 1999. The West Nile Virus kills about 100 Americans a year. There are no medications or vaccines to treat or to prevent West Nile Virus.  The West Nile Virus is also prevalent today in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. (“West Nile”, 2015)

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes or Haemagogus species mosquitoes, found in tropical and sub-tropical areas, such as South America and Africa. (” Yellow Fever”, 2016) This virus can damage the liver and other internal organs and is potentially fatal. There is no known specific treatment and it is highly recommended for people traveling to be vaccinated for Yellow Fever prior to traveling to infected areas in the world. (“Yellow Fever”, 2016)

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is another serious infection the is the result of exposure to the bites of the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. It is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and sub-tropics around the world. The CDC estimates that 400 million people are infected annually. Dengue fever is rare in the U.S., but is epidemic in Puerto Rico, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. There is no known cure or current vaccination available. The only known prevention is to avoid mosquito bites. (“Dengue”, 2016)

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya Fever is yet another disease where a virus is transmitted by a mosquito. Symptoms include fever and joint pain. This is not typically a deadly disease, but the symptoms can be quite severe. There have been outbreaks in Africa, Asia, Europe, and in countries bordering the Indian and Pacific oceans. The first case in the Americas was documented in 2013 in several Caribbean Islands. There is no known cure, treatment or vaccination available. The mosquito responsible for spreading the disease, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species, are also capable of transmitting dengue fever and the Zika virus. (“Chikungunya”, 2015)

Zika Virus Fever

Zika virus is currently generating the most anxiety and concern about mosquito infections. (Hayes, 2016) Several world famous athletes have refused to participate in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Brazil due to the fear of the Zika virus. Most people that are infected by Zika will only experience mild symptoms, such as slight fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. However, there is now a documented scientific link between the Zika virus and birth defects in babies born to infected mothers (Dyer, 2016) and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (Cao-Lormeau, 2016).

The Zika virus, spread by the bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, has now been confirmed to cause microcephaly, which results in small heads and brain damage to newborn babies of infected mothers. The mosquito thought to be responsible for spreading the Zika virus in Brazil was initially thought not to be a concern in North America. However, the Zika virus has now spread to the “Asian Tiger” mosquito, whose range is now as far north as New York and New Jersey, and will likely soon be seen throughout most of North America. On July 21, 2016, Brazilian researches said they found evidence of Zika virus in another species mosquito, the Culex quinquefasciatus. More testing is required to determine if this mosquito is capable of actually transmitting Zika to humans. If they can, the implications are troubling, as the Culex is a much more common species of mosquito than the Aedes and can survive in temperate climates. (Prada, 2016)

There are now documented cases of the Zika virus and babies born with microcephaly in the U.S., but those cases involved pregnant women being exposed in known countries at risk outside the U.S. (Hayes, 2016) This week, the CDC was informed of four cases of Zika virus infection in the State of Florida. These cases are believed to have been contracted in the Miami area from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. If confirmed, these would be the first cases of Zika contracted in the continental United States from mosquitoes. (“Florida Investigation”, 2016)

Protective Measures Against Mosquito-borne Illness

There are steps that individuals can do to protect themselves and their families.

  • The simplest advice is to avoid areas known for mosquitoes at all costs. The danger time for mosquitoes is between dusk and dawn (just like sharks!)
  • Eliminate all sources of standing or stagnant water which is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. This means clean swimming pools, rain gutters, bird baths, flower pots, pet bowls, old tires, buckets and other items where water can collect such as tarps, pool covers and boat covers.
  • Look for potential leaks around air conditioners and anywhere water puddles may form.
  • Do not leave windows open without properly fitted screens and, by all means, close the door.
  • Wear protective clothing when outdoors, especially between dusk and dawn, such as long sleeves, long pants, shoes and socks, and a hat.
  • Cut the grass and eliminate weeds in your yard.
  • Use commercially available products, such as insect/mosquito repellent and devices designed to attract and kill mosquitoes.
  • There are also little fish, known as minnows, that eat mosquitoes and their larvae in fish ponds on or near your property.
  • Ask your local authorities what they are doing about mosquito control, in general, and the Zika virus, in particular, such as draining local swamp land.
  • Report any other areas of standing water in your neighbourhood.
  • Practice safe sex, including the use of condoms, as Zika can be transferred to sexual partners.

Great progress is being made in the fight against Malaria with the help of international agencies and global public health campaigns focusing on insecticide-treated bed nets or ITNs. ITNs provide simple, but effective, prevention as part of an overall global public health effort, including antimalarial treatment and indoor residual spraying. The CDC reports that the use of ITNs has reduced childhood deaths from all causes by 20% in Africa. (“Nothing but Nets”) These ITNs allow people to sleep with protection from mosquitoes in their peak hours, dusk to dawn. Organizations such as Malaria No More and NothingButNets are conducting fundraising and global education campaigns in cooperation with the United Nations.

Novel approaches to mosquito control, including the development of genetically-modified mosquitoes, introducing bacteria to mosquitoes to prevent eggs from hatching and sterilizing male mosquitoes, are all being considered in the effort to eradicate mosquito-borne illnesses (Dockrill, 2016)

While no one would advise swimming with sharks, the fact remains that the mosquito presents a much bigger danger to humans than the menacing, toothy fish. Knowing the risks and protecting yourself from them are your best defense against these tiny vectors of disease.

References:

  1. Borenstein, S. (2002, August 19). Mosquitoes Are Most Deadly Animal Known To Humans. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://rense.com/general28/mosded.htm
  2. Cao-Lormeau, V., Blake, A., Mons, S., Lastère, S., Roche, C., Vanhomwegen, J., . . . Ghawché, F. (2016, February 28). Guillain-Barré Syndrome outbreak associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia: A case-control study. The Lancet,387(10027), 1531-1539. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)00562-6
  3. Chikungunya Virus. (2015, November 16). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya
  4. (2016, January 19). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/dengue
  5. Dockrill, P. (2016, February 18). WHO confirms genetically modified mosquitoes may be used to combat Zika threat. Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://www.sciencealert.com/who-confirms-genetically-modified-mosquitoes-may-be-used-to-combat-zika-threat
  6. Dyer, O. (2016, April 15). US agency says Zika virus causes microcephaly. Bmj,I2167. doi:10.1136/bmj.i2167
  7. Fischer, Marc (2008) ArboNET: National surveillance system for arboviral (2008). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.nationalacademies.org/hmd/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Global/ZoonoticDisease/Presentation4Fischer.pdf
  8. Florida investigation links four recent Zika cases to local mosquito-borne virus transmission. (2016, July 29). Retrieved July 31, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0729-florida-zika-cases.html
  9. Hayes, A. (2016, July 13). Zika Drives Heightened Mosquito Fears: Survey. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/news/20160713/zika-drives-heightened-fears-mosquitoes
  10. Insecticide-Treated Bed Nets. (2016, March 24). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/malaria
  11. (2016). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/malaria
  12. Merrill, R. M., Timmreck, T. C., & Timmreck, T. C. (2006). Introduction to epidemiology. P. 40. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.
  13. Mosquitoes and Disease. . Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcmosquitoes.htm
  14. Powell, K. E. (1977, May 23). St Louis Encephalitis. Jama, 237(21), 2294. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03270480034015
  15. Prada, P. (2016, July 21). Brazil scientists find Zika traces in Culex mosquitoes in wild. Retrieved July 28, 2016, from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-zika-brazil-mosquito-idUSKCN101315
  16. Science Now. (2016, May 11). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/
  17. Send a net. Save a life. | Nothing But Nets | United Nations Foundation | Campaign to End Malaria. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://nothingbutnets.net/
  18. The History of Malaria, an Ancient Disease. (2016) Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/malaria/about/history/
  19. West Nile Virus. (2015, December 02). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/
  20. World Malaria Report 2015. (2015). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://who.int/malaria/publications/world-malaria-report-2015/report/en/
  21. Yellow Fever. (2016, July 12). Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.cdc.gov/yellowfever
  22. Zika Virus. Illinois Department of Public Health Home Page. Retrieved July 26, 2016, from http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/zika

 

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Daniel Miller, M.P.H.
Mr. Miller is President of Daniel R. Miller, MPH Consulting based in Morris Plains, NJ with 35 years’ experience in healthcare, workers’ compensation and disability consulting. Mr. Miller’s clients have included Fortune 500 corporations such as; AT&T, Black & Decker, American Express, Kmart, Nabisco, McDonnell Douglas, Times Mirror, Domino’s Pizza and Molson. Other clients have included The State of Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC), The State of Rhode Island and Nationwide and The Travelers Insurance Companies. Mr. Miller is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, Mass and received his Master’s degree in Public Health (MPH) from Columbia University School of Public Health and Cornell Medical College in New York, NY. Mr. Miller is a published author on a wide variety of healthcare issues such as emerging healthcare technologies, childhood immunizations, the stigma of mental health treatment, unnecessary surgery, carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries. In addition, he has many workers’ compensation related published articles on such topics as Independent Medical Exams (IMEs), provider networks and return–to-work. He is an expert on both state and U.S. Federal laws dealing with healthcare, workers’ compensation and disability related issues such as; The American’s with Disability Act (ADA), Family Medical Leave (FMLA), The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and state specific workers compensation laws and systems. Mr. Miller has a lifelong keen interest in the field of global public health, evidence-based medicine and medical research.

22 COMMENTS

  1. 8/3/16
    Hello InfectionControl.tips, this is Dan Miller, author of; “Would You Tune into Mosquito Week.” Since this article was written and published earlier this week, this news story has exploded on the front page of U.S. Newspapers. Here is a summary of the major news development as of 8/2/16.

    For the first time in the 70 year history of the CDC, the public is being told to avoid someplace in the U.S. i.e., the Wynwood District in Miami, Fla. due to the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Initially, 4 cases of Zika due to a suspected mosquito bite were reported last week. On Monday 8/1/16, 10 more cases for a total of 14, strongly believed linked to a mosquito bite were announced by the CDC.

    In a very rare warning, pregnant women are being advised to avoid this section of Miami. In addition, couples living there or who recently visited the area since mid-June are being advised to put of having children for 2 months. The CDC also states that all expectant mothers should get tested for the Zika virus if they visited or live in the area.

    The major fear is that the Zika virus may gain a long dreaded foothold in the U.S. through infected mosquitoes . Florida Governor Scott has asked the CDC Response Team to help the state combat the Zika virus that is sweeping Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Public Health Officials are hopeful they can contain this outbreak based on past success in preventing other previous mosquito-borne outbreaks in the U.S. These officials believe there will be isolated clusters of Zika virus in the U.S. and not widespread major outbreak similar to what is happening in Latin America due to better ongoing mosquito control methods and sanitation. These officials state the Aedes aegypti mosquito has a very limited range as a single mosquito and will likely travel no more than 200 yards in their lifetime. However, there is still a major concern since they continue to see “moderately high” numbers of different types of mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus. Despite aggressive use of insecticides in Florida, this effort will involve very difficult mosquito control.

    The Associated Press (AP) on 8/2/16 reported the potential range of the two mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus that are known to carry Zika is the entire south from Florida to California and as far north as New England. Any new cases beyond the 14 reported to date in any other areas of South Florida or elsewhere will make this situation much more serious. I fear Public Health officials are downplaying the potential spread of Zika to multiple species of mosquitoes.

    More analysis of the situation to come. Stay Tuned.

  2. 8/3/16
    Story update: AP reported today that the CDC stated the mosquitoes believed to be responsible for spreading the Zika virus are proving to be harder to eradicate than expected. Mosquito control experts are quoted as not being surprised describing the aedes aegypti mosquito as a “little ninja”capable of hiding and breeding in as little as a bottle cap of standing water. 15 cases in the Miami Wynwood section are believed to be the first cases of mosquito transmitted Zika cases in the U.S. It should be noted that no mosquitoes in South Florida have been found infected with Zika. However, none of the 15 cases can be linked to any form of travel to infected areas. It is thought that all the Florida cases likely were exposed within a few city blocks.

    The CDC is warning all pregnant women to avoid mosquito bites to prevent Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases; “that might not be that pleasant to have; including Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.”

  3. 8/4/16

    Federal researchers at the National Institute oh Health (NIH) announced the first clinical trials of a Zika vaccine. The study will involve 80 healthy volunteers to determine vaccine safety and whether it generates an effective immune-system response. If the early results are positive a larger-scale study is planned for early 2017. The Washington Post reports that Zika continues to spread in more than 50 countries. The Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was quoted; “A safe and effective vaccine to prevent Zika virus infection and the devastating birth defects is a public health imperative.”

  4. 8/4/16
    Story Update: NJ Star Ledger reports that the CDC has given the State of New Jersey a half million dollars ($560,000) to help with any Zika infections in pregnant women in NJ. There are currently 76 Zika cases in NJ, all related to travel in infected areas. There are no cases of mosquito-borne Zika in NJ. The only suspected cases at this time are in the Miami area. NJ will use this federal money to increase monitoring of children born to women exposed to the Zika virus during pregnancy. The CDC has warned that while the birth defect caused by microcephaly is evident upon birth, other developmental effects that may show up later in childhood are unknown. In addition, because the virus produces no symptoms in 4 out of 5 infected people, pregnant women may have no idea they are infected.

    Nationwide there are 433 pregnant women who were infected with Zika during their pregnancy currently being monitored. Over all, the CDC has provided $16 million to 40 states that may see the Zika virus in pregnant women. Earlier this summer NJ received over $400,000 from the CDC for lab services and a community outreach and education campaign for a total of $1 million in federal funding to fight Zika in NJ alone this summer.

    NJ health officials are publicly cautiously optimistic they can prevent an outbreak of mosquito borne Zika in the state. Other mosquito control experts in the state have voiced a deep concern with the potential spread of Zika to “Asian Tiger” mosquitoes, which may create a much more dangerous Public Health outbreak. As a NJ resident, we are deeply concerned about mosquito-borne diseases since NJ is famous for our mosquitoes. A well known NJ joke is; “What is the State Bird of NJ” ? The Mosquito!

  5. Story update 8/5/16

    Florida Governor Rick Scott toured the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami and met with local business owners to discuss what the state is doing about Zika and mosquito control. Over a hundred teams of mosquito control experts are in the area spreading the the key message;” to get rid of mosquitoes any where they breed.” The CDC Director Tom Friedman stated he was impressed by the efforts of local mosquito control experts. Reports of large plumes of mosquito spray can be seen in the neighborhood at night.

    The count of infected people from suspected mosquito-borne Zika was at 15 as of 8/5/16. There is high demand for Zika testing in the area and Governor Scott stated; ” We’re buying more tests.”

  6. 8/10/16
    Texas Health officials announce an infant born with microcephaly died shortly after birth in the Houston area. It is the first such Zika related death recorded in the U.S. The mother contacted Zika while pregnant when traveling in Latin America.

  7. 8/12/16 The AP now reports 25 cases of mosquito-borne Zika cases in the Miami area. US Health officials continue to warn pregnant women to avoid the infection zone.

    The Obama Administration plans to allocate $81 million from the Department of Health and Human Services programs by transferring $34 million from National Institute of Health and $47 million within the Biomedical Advanced Research and Developing Authority budget. This money is in addition to $347 million already transferred from fighting the Ebola virus.

    The Obama Administration reports that there are over 7,300 Zika cases in the U.S. including 972 pregnant women. AS of today 15 babies have been reported to have been born with Zika-related birth defects.

  8. 8/15/16

    Fox News reported today that there are now 30 cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus in the Miami area. At the same, the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, the current epicenter of mosquito-borne Zika virus, appears to be returning to normal in terms of visitors and tourist returning to the area. I just hope pregnant women are not.

  9. Major News Update 8/19/16
    Despite earlier denials by Florida Health officials, Florida Governor Scott just announced that Zika is now spreading in two places in South Florida, the Wynwood section of Miami Beach and now north of Miami. All of these cases do not involve travel to infected places outside the U.S. There are now 36 confirmed cases with the latest involving tourists visiting the area. Pregnant women are strongly warned to avoid the these areas.

    The major concern now is that the hope of containing the mosquitoes responsible for spreading Zika to this one neighborhood has appeared to have failed and now the question is will Zika spread by mosquitoes to other parts of the southern U.S. ? I don’t enjoy being correct in warning of the potential spread of Zika in North America through mosquito bites but it is now real and potentially very dangerous for pregnant women everywhere. If you are pregnant or planning to be and live or have visited these area please get tested, all others please avoid these areas now.

  10. Zika News Update : 8/29/16
    The Washington Post quoted an AP story that a woman in Maryland contacted Zika in a possibly unprecedented way. It is reported that she apparently got it from a male sex partner who showed no symptoms of infection according to a CDC report released on Friday. The CDC report stated it might be wise to expand the category of those considered exposed to include sex partners of people returning from areas with ongoing transmission of the Zika virus, even if the partners have no symptoms. There is only one other reported possible case of a woman getting Zika from a symptom free partner, however, a mosquito bite while traveling in an infected area outside the U.S, has not been ruled out in this case.

  11. Zika News- 8/29/16
    The New York Times reported on Saturday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration just announced the first steps to safeguard the nation’s blood supply by calling for all blood banks to screen donations for the Zika virus, even in states where mosquitoes carrying the virus are currently not present. The recommendation is an acknowledgement that sexual transmission may facilitate the spread of Zika. Public Health officials also want to prepare for the possibility that local clusters of Zika infection will continue to pop up in parts of the U.S. for years to come.

    11 States are now mandated to screen for the Zika virus in blood banks within 4 weeks. The rest of the nation has 12 weeks. This is a bombshell for an unprecedented rapid introduction of a new blood screening test nationwide. According to the CDC there are 11,500 confirmed Zika cases in the U.S. The first documented cases of mosquito-borne transmission have been discovered in multiple hot spots in the Miami Beach area, where extensive mosquito spraying has been taking place. It is reported that a South Florida blood bank recently detected the Zika virus in a blood donation.

  12. 8/29/16
    Basically the entire Miami Beach area known as South Beach remains the epi-center of the mosquito-borne Zika virus outbreak in the U.S. As of Friday 8/26/ there were 37 suspected cases in Miami-Dade County. The CDC warns pregnant women to avoid the entire Miami-Dade county area.
    Good News/Bad News The bad news is that local officials fear a third cluster in the financial district in South Miami. The good news is that there have been no new reported cases in the past two weeks from the orginal infection zone in Miami known as Wynwood.

  13. 8/31/16 CDC announces it will run out of money to fight Zika in U.S. at the end of the September.
    CDC Director says; “The Cupboard is bare, we are out of money and need Congress to act to allow us to act effectively.”
    Among the major concerns is the potential spread of Zika via mosquitoes in the Gulf States, where it is peak mosquito season. The CDC has already issued an unprecedented travel advisory in 2 South Florida neighborhoods, Wynwood and Miami Beach. Pregnant women are warned to avoid these areas. Negotiations over $1.9 billion in Zika Funding have currently not been addressed due to politics in Congress.

  14. 9/2/16
    A breaking major news story as per The Associated Press (AP) . Authorities in Florida announced that the Zika virus was found in three different groups of trapped mosquitoes. All these mosquitoes were found within the 1.5 square mile area of Miami Beach known as the Zika hot zone. This confirms all the fears of a potential Public Health crisis through the spread of Zika by mosquitoes in the U.S. This is peak mosquito season in the Southern U.S. Gulf states, many with a sub-tropical temperate climates in late summer, early Fall, such as Florida. All the major tourists attractions in the Orlando area, SeaWorld, Disney World, etc. now provide free mosquito repellant to visitors.

    CDC spokesman stated;” This is the first time we have found a Zika virus positive mosquito pool in the continental U.S.

  15. News Update 9/13/16 (AP)

    President Obama and Congressional leaders gave an upbeat report on budget negotiations to provide the funding to fight the worsening Zika crisis situation. The announcement came as government scientists are stepping up their warnings about the spread of Zika via mosquitoes in the U.S.

  16. New Update 9/15/16
    The Washington Post reported this week that; “A Study says Zika may be spread by bodily fluids”

    Until now, scientists have said Zika is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito and sex with an infected partner but also through blood transfusions. But a mysterious case in Utah suggests that it may be spread by other bodily fluids like tears, saliva, vomit, urine, eye fluids and stool . This case involves a man who became infected after caring for his elderly father who became infected after travel outside the U.S. according to a report released by the CDC.

    All healthcare workers and family members are warned to use standard precautions in treating infected patients such as wearing clothes and a mask and other protective measures.

  17. 9/15/16
    “West Nile Virus Still a Threat”

    The West Nile Virus, first isolated in Uganda in 1937, made its way to New York City in 1999 most likely from an infected bird or mosquito carried by a traveler from outside the U.S. Within 4 years it spread across the country to California where 299 people have died and over 5,600 have been sickened. Last year 53 people in California died and this year it is feared it may be even worse. Last year there were 783 cases and 801 the year before. More infected birds and mosquitoes have been found this year then last. Overall, since 1999 there have been 44,000 reported cases with over 1.900 deaths in the U.S. contributed to infected migratory birds bitten by mosquitoes who then bite people. In New Jersey, since September 2, 2016 there have been 231 mosquito pools found in 17 different counties infected with West Nile.

    It’s time to take out the mosquitoes!

  18. 9/20/16
    Zika success story? The Washington Post reported that the CDC yesterday (9/19/16) lifted the travel advisory for pregnant women in the Wynwood section of Miami that was the initial active Zika zone in the state. There is no evidence of any further Zika spread in that neighborhood for the past 45 days, or about 3 mosquito incubation periods. However, the travel advisory remain in effect for nearly 2/3 of Miami Beach until Federal Health Officials can confirm no further spread in this tourist hotspot. The CDC stated pregnant women and their partners may still want to avoid any nonessential travel in the Wynwood section since it was a Zika hot spot and the mosquito season will run through the fall.

  19. 9/22/16
    Good news for now from New Jersey, where the state bird is jokingly called the Mosquito. NJ is still in the height of mosquito season but the greatest fear that the Asian Tiger (Aedes albopictus) could spread Zika this far north has not happened, yet. State health officials announced that over 17,000 Asian Tigers in 292 mosquito pools tested negative for Zika. Asian Tigers and the Aedes aegypti are the only known mosquitoes at this time that can carry the Zika virus but the Zika virus favorite mosquito, the Aedes aegypti, known as the Yellow Fever mosquito, is incapable of surviving a NJ winter, although it can be carried in container ships, moving vans, etc . State health officials did state the mosquito season could still cause a threat up to the first frost.

  20. Spring 2017 Zika Update- The US CDC sponsored Zika prevalence study for 2016 was published in the Journal of Morbidity & Mortality on 4/4/17. This new US Government report identified 1,300 pregnancies from 44 states with possible Zika virus in 2016. All mothers were reported to have traveled to Zika infested areas outside the US. Among the confirmed cases 10% had babies born with birth defects. Among the mothers diagnosed with Zika in the first trimester, 15% of these babies born had birth defects.
    As summer approaches here in the US I am sure the CDC will be monitoring for potential mosquito-borne Zika virus that hit the Miami Fla area in 2016.

  21. June 2017 Zika Update

    Good news on the Zika front. The Washington Post reported on 6/6/17 that the Zika epidemic in Puerto Rico is officially over. Only 10 cases have been reported in each 4 week period since April, which is a dramatic drop from more than 8,000 new cases at the peak of the epidemic last August. The Health Ministry stated that they have counted 40,000 cases as of May 20th, including 3,678 pregnant women.

  22. 6/8/17 Summer is now here in the U.S. and the beginning of a new mosquito season. Although Zika has receded from the news headlines and no new cases of locally acquired Zika virus has been reported so far this year, many public officials are very concerned since much uncertainty still remains regarding Federal resources for local surveillance.

    In 2016, there were 5,102 reported cases in the U.S. with most contracted while traveling to South and Central America. Since last June, 64 babies were born in the U.S. with the virus. In 2016, $1,1 Billion in Federal funds was spent on research, overseas response and State Public Health efforts.

    Public Health experts are concerned about current budget cuts and limited resources available.

    Source: Kaiser Health News

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