About 75% of counties on the US mainland have suitable habitat for Aedes mosquitoes, CDC researchers say.
Italy was officially declared free of malaria in 1970, but environmental organization Legambiente warned in 2007 that it could make a comeback due to the effects of climate change.In particular, warmer temperatures have brought mosquito species including the Asian Tiger mosquito, known to transmit several diseases, to Europe. In recent years, the first EU cases of West Nile fever were detected in Italy as well as Romania, while Ravenna in the north of the country experienced an outbreak of Chikungunya fever in 2007. was also detected in Italy. Both diseases are known to be transmitted by Asian Tiger mosquitoes.
Texas health officials today announced the state’s first probable local Zika infection of the year, which also appears to be the first local case reported in the United States for 2017.The patient is a Hildago County resident who had not traveled outside the area or had any other risk factors, the Texas Department of State Health Services (TSDHS) said in a press release. Hildago County, located in the Rio Grande Valley, is in far southern Texas on the border with Mexico.The virus was probably transmitted by a mosquito bite in South Texas some time in the last few months, and lab tests show that the person is no longer at risk of spreading Zika to mosquitoes.In April the TDSHS expanded its recommendations for testing pregnant women and people with Zika infections in six South Texas counties, which led to thousands of tests being conducted and to the identification of the newly identified case.
So far, yellow fever is currently being transmitted by two types of mosquitoes on Brazil, the Haemagogus or Sabethes. If yellow fever is introduced to a major urban center, the virus could jump to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, making human transmission more likely.”There is no evidence of human cases of yellow fever virus infection transmitted by Aedes aegypti, the vector that could sustain urban transmission of yellow fever,” the WHO said in its update.
“This is a fivefold increase in less than 1 month,” said Duane Gubler, ScD, MS, former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. “That’s an unusual number for sylvatic yellow fever.”
The two technologies could be “transformational,” said Dan Strickman, a senior program officer at the foundation. The next challenge, however, will be to identify the approaches that work best in combination with existing medical treatments so as to shrink the footprint of the disease over the next ten to fifteen years, Karl Malamud-Roam, manager of Rutgers University’s public health pesticides program, told the Seattle Times.
Finding out how human behavior facilitates the expansion of growth of malaria carrying mosquitoes would cost less but would show that industrial farming and deforestation are the chief facilitators of malaria’s continual comebacks.
That is to say, as humans continue to reshape the state to fit our desires, we are creating the conditions for a mosquito population explosion. To make matters worse, the channel reports that species capable of carrying the West Nile virus and Zika do well in California’s human-made environment. And scientists expect it to only get worse.”Urbanization, driven by human population growth and movement, has been a major driver of environmental change during the last century and is projected to increase substantially in the future across the globe,” the study authors write. “Our results suggest that urbanization is likely to drive additional changes in mosquito communities, including the expansion of habitat for urban mosquitoes.”
Yesterday, members of Congress remembered they are obligated to, like, do stuff, when they narrowly avoided a government shutdown by agreeing to allocate $1.1 billion to fight Zika.Initially, the bill was held up thanks to language that would bar funds from Planned Parenthood, since any effort to boost women’s healthcare is akin to slaughtering schoolchildren on national television. (Note that the actual slaughter of schoolchildren fails to prompt any Congressional action.) But yesterday the Senate approved the bill by a vote of 72-26, and later in the day the House of Representatives approved it 342-85, narrowly averting a shutdown that would leave the government without money to operate Friday at midnight.President Obama, who requested $1.9 billion in Zika funding in February, is expected to sign the bill into law by tomorrow. Though an initial iteration of the legislation prohibited funds from going to Planned Parenthood, that language has since been removed. “Women’s health should never be treated like a political football,” Senator Patty Murray, D-Washington, told NPR. “I am glad that Republicans finally agreed to set aside the extreme provisions that would have specifically blocked Planned Parenthood health care providers from accessing critical funding.”
A new method for tracking the virus could help prevent outbreaks.
- Infecting many mosquitoes with Wolbachia will result in Wolbachia resistant mosquitoes.
- Pretending that mosquitoes are an enemy or pest that can/should be destroyed ignores why mosquito populations explode (human interventions) and what the role of the mosquito is in nature.
- Someone will profit greatly and will not pay for any unintended consequences.
“The idea has been to release Aedes mosquitoes with Wolbachia in the field over a period of a few months, so they mate with Aedes mosquitoes without Wolbachia living in the place and, over time, replace the mosquito population,” says senior author Luciano Moreira of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation. He is also actively involved in the Eliminate Dengue Program, a non-profit that is testing the approach in 40 locations around the world.