Posts Tagged CDC updates

Chikungunya Continues to Spread in Caribbean

Not even a year ago, we at Mosquito Squad became aware of a mosquito-borne illness that was growing in numbers in the Caribbean called chikungunya. The Centers for Disease Control warned travelers of the illness in December and stated that is was “very likely” to end up in the United States and now a new report from Haiti is illustrating how serious this disease can be.

Haiti reported their first chikungunya cases last week with 14 confirmed cases. Just one week later, health officials have confirmed over 1,500 cases!

mosquito controlChikungunya is transmitted through the bite of an affected Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits dengue fever and yellow fever. The Aedes aegypti is most common in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Chikungunya causes a high fever that will last several days as well as headaches, joint pain and rashes. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for the disease at this time.

Chikungunya is most common in Africa and Asia. Like many other bugs and diseases, it was brought to the Caribbean through travel. Now that mosquitoes are entering their peak breeding months, it is imperative that locals and travelers protect themselves against mosquito bites as the number of cases could easily continue to rise.

We are often asked how a mosquito infects through their bite. Only female mosquitoes bite for blood as it is necessary to produce eggs. When she injects her proboscis into the skin, she releases saliva and anti-coagulants. The viruses or diseases that the mosquito carries are present in the saliva and are transmitted through the bite.

Not all mosquitoes transmit or carry disease, but it is smart to protect yourself from them when you can. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients with our mosquito treatments for the yard. For our seasonal clients, we visit the property every 2-3 weeks and treat the foliage and areas of the yard where mosquitoes are known to harbor. That mosquito control spray will eliminate the mosquitoes on contact and provide continuous protection for up to 21 days.

While professional outdoor pest control can reduce your mosquito population by 85-90%, you still need to protect yourself when you leave a treated property. We suggest wearing long, loose fitting clothing or spraying exposed skin with a DEET product.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Centers for Disease Control Warn Travelers of Chikungunya

Mosquito-borne diseases are present in any area of the country and world where mosquitoes are active. While the diseases they carry are different depending on the areas of the world, many of them are dangerous and debilitating. Earlier this week, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning against a painful mosquito-borne illness for any U.S. travelers to the Caribbean.

Ten people in the Caribbean have recently been diagnosed with Chikungunya virus. The CDC says it is “very likely” to end up in the United States. As CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden explains, “Microbes know no boundaries, and the appearance of chikungunya virus in the Western hemisphere represents another threat to health security. CDC experts have predicted and prepared for its arrival for several years and there are surveillance systems in place to help us track it.” Source.

Asian Tiger mosquito stripes on legs

Asian Tiger mosquito stripes on legs. These pests are carriers of the painful chikungunya virus.

The Asian tiger mosquito is a common carrier of Chikungunya. The tiger mosquito is easily recognizable by the black and white stripes on their legs.

Chikungunya symptoms can take days to display after being infected with the disease. Symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of dengue fever including a high fever, rash, headache, nausea and severe joint pain. The name Chikungunya comes from the Mankonde language and means, “that which bends up” because it can be very painful.

Chikungunya was first found in Africa but has been moving into Asia and Europe and now the Caribbean in recent years. So far there have been 109 travelers who have been diagnosed with Chikungunya in the United States and luckily it hasn’t spread since there.

With winter holidays and travel in full swing, the CDC issued a statement of warning: the “CDC estimated that about 9 million U.S. residents travel to the Caribbean each year. Given that volume of travelers, chikungunya could occur more frequently in returning U.S. mainland travelers if the virus expands in the region.” Source.

The CDC stated that it is possible for a single infected person to start an outbreak of the disease. While we aren’t in the height of mosquito season now, it will start again in just a few short months. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry with our mosquito control treatments. By treating your property for mosquitoes, your chances of being infected while spending time outside in your yard is decreased. If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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