Monday, 28 May, 2018

Tick, flea and mosquito-spread diseases more…

Tick mosquito-borne infections surge in United States CDC Tick, flea and mosquito-spread diseases more…
Steve Townsend | 02 May, 2018, 01:10

West Nile virus was the most common form of mosquito-borne illness, Petersen said, but there has been a recent "accelerating trend" of mosquito-borne disease being introduced to the USA, with West Nile in 1999, chikungunya in 2014, and Zika in 2016.

Tick-borne diseases are mainly found in the eastern continental United States and areas along the Pacific coast, the researchers said.

The nine new threats reported in the US 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.

The annual number of reported cases increased from 27,388 to 96,075 over that time because of a variety of factors, including increased travel, a larger number of mosquito and ticks spread out over a wider area, the discovery of nine new pathogens, and the addition of several illnesses to the list of nationally notifiable vector-borne diseases.

As Redfield and Petersen explained, warmer weather has allowed these disease-spreading pests, called vectors, to expand their range.

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.

While the increase in tick-borne illnesses was gradual, rising steadily each year, the increase in mosquito-borne diseases was more sudden, driven by recent epidemics of West Nile virus and Zika virus. "Amblyomma spp, which is a voracious feeder, has also been identified in the Northeast, where it was usually just in the southern U.S. Depending on where you are in the country, ticks may emerge at a time when most folks aren't aware of them, easily the result of shifts in phenology due to climate change".

"Many of these diseases are sensitive to increasing temperatures", he told reporters Tuesday.

Though rare, plague was the most common disease resulting from the bite of an infected flea.

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Tick and mosquito season is coming - and it could be bad. This includes a doubling of diseases transmitted by ticks, which in turn accounted for 60 percent of all vector-borne diseases, he said.

Those tick-borne pathogens are most prevalent, accounting for about three-quarters of the 640,000 cases. "We need to support state and local health agencies responsible for detecting and responding to these diseases and controlling the mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas that spread them". "Second, CDC is working with state and local health departments to build or rebuild comprehensive vector programs that have eroded over time", he said. Yet, 84% of local vector control organizations lack at least 1 of 5 core vector control competencies.

"This includes wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers, and making sure you use a proper insect repellent, especially when walking in wooded and grassy areas, where the risk for tick bites is significantly increased", Glatter said.

Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets. Petersen said the agency is using two strategies to better prepare the organizations to prevent and control the threats.

Wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers.

The number of vector-borne illnesses in the US tripled from 2004 to 2016, rising to almost 650,000 cases, CDC researchers reported.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) seconded that conclusion, calling for more federal funding of research into the development of new vaccines to battle these diseases.

Vital Signs is a report that appears as part of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Some topics include cancer, HIV/AIDS, prescription drug overdoses, antibiotic resistance, suicides, asthma, and global health.

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