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This Summer Mosquitoes May Bring A Disease To America That Is More Dangerous Than Zika

May 8th, 2018

This Summer Mosquitoes May Bring A Disease To America That Is More Dangerous Than Zika

We can all remember the Zika scare of 2016, and we are all glad that it is over. Sadly, it may be a bit too early to breathe a sigh of relief over the matter of mosquito-borne disease in the United States, as this summer may see more infections than ever. When it comes to the Zika virus, pregnant women tend to worry the most about possible infection, and for obvious reasons. Most  people did not have to concern themselves with mosquito safety measures as much as pregnant women did during 2016. We all now know that the Zika virus can cause tragic cranial malformations in babies born to Zika infected mothers, but the next mosquito-borne disease epidemic may involve a disease that is far more deadly than Zika, and everyone could be equally vulnerable to infection. When considering the many mosquito-borne diseases that exist, Americans are familiar with Zika and West Nile, but not many others like malaria, and yellow fever. This may change within the next few months, as many experts are predicting a massive migration of yellow fever-carrying mosquitoes into the North American region. Individuals with yellow fever can easily spread the disease into America, and the state of Florida provides ideal climatic conditions for the dangerous mosquito species to thrive.

Not even the oldest living individuals today can remember a time when yellow fever was a source of fear among American citizens. It has been more than one hundred years since a yellow fever outbreak occurred within the United States, but several recent yellow fever outbreaks in South and Central America could bring another epidemic to the US. Brazil and several other countries to our south have recently seen yellow fever outbreaks that could spread into America via diseased travelers. Travelers arriving in Florida with infected blood could spread yellow fever to Florida’s native mosquito population after sustaining bites. This is a major concern for officials with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as yellow fever is much deadlier than the Zika virus. In just a seven month period in between July and March, Brazilian officials reported that 1,131 yellow fever cases had been documented in the country. Of these 1,131 yellow fever cases, three hundred and thirty eight deaths resulted. At the moment, the pressure is on Florida health officials when it comes to preventing this disease from entering the US. If Florida health officials fail to contain yellow fever in 2018, much of America would almost certainly become devastated by disease.

Do you think that concerns over yellow fever this year are justified? Do you remember hearing warnings from researchers concerning possible Zika virus epidemics prior to 2016?

 

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