Diseases From Ticks, Mosquitos More Than Triple

Diseases From Ticks, Mosquitos More Than Triple

Diseases like Lyme disease, Zika, Dengue, and West Nile that are spread by ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas tripled in the U.S. between 2004 and 2016, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More than 642,000 cases of the illnesses were reported during the 13 years studied in the Vital Signs report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data "substantially underestimate disease occurrence", the report said.

Petersen would not say directly that climate change is worsening things but said hot weather is a major factor.

The new data include only cases that have been reported by state and local health departments. "Where there are ticks, there comes diseases", said Lyle Petersen, director of the CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.

"The bottom line is this: illnesses from tick, mosquito, and flea bites continue to impact our nation". The CDC said it had identified nine new pathogens transmitted by insects within the US over the 13-year stretch, including diseases like the Zika and West Nile viruses and chikungunya, a virus that attacks the joints and can cause extreme pain. Higher temperatures tend to make mosquitoes more infectious and infectious faster, thus promoting outbreaks.

The number of Americans sickened each year by bites from infected mosquitoes, ticks or fleas tripled from 2004 through 2016, with infection rates spiking sharply in 2016 as a result of a Zika outbreak, US health officials said Tuesday.

These pests caused more than 96,000 cases of illness in 2016, up from roughly 27,388 in 2004 and part of a continuing increase in insect-borne diseases, CDC researchers said.

The nine new threats reported in the USA since 2004 include seven new tick-borne pathogens, including the Heartland and Bourbon viruses in the Midwest and a new Borrelia species - B. mayonii - that has caused Lyme disease in the upper Midwest.

"Lyme patients are treated in an outpatient setting, so outpatient disease is underreported to a certain extent", Petersen said, but added that even though all the cases are not reported, it's not necessary that every case is counted.

The responsibility for detecting and responding to diseases spread by vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks is nearly all funded locally and operated by local and state health departments.

Government efforts to prevent vector-borne diseases include the funding of states and territories to detect and respond to infections and the development of improved diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatment for these diseases, the CDC said. "Endemic plague, a fleaborne disease that is transmitted mostly in the rural southwestern United States, did not exceed 17 cases in a year", the CDC report reads.

Train vector control staff on 5 core competencies for conducting prevention and control activities.

"We understand that Congress and the administration have many hard choices to make", he said.

A natural resources officer with Broward County Mosquito Control takes water samples decanted from a watering jug, checking for the presence of mosquito larvae in Pembroke Pines, Fla., June 28, 2016. Long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and a hat help keep bugs off skin.

Petersen also noted that humans have moved into areas where there are more deer, putting them at higher risk for tick-borne diseases. "It's also advisable to apply a repellent such as permethrin to socks, boots, trousers and tents, to further repel ticks".

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