Mosquito, Tick, and Flea Bite Related Illnesses on the Rise
A new Vital Signs Report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that illnesses related to mosquito, tick and flea bites are on the rise. According to the report, between 2004 and 2016, reports of cases of vector-borne diseases have more than tripled, and 9 new germs spread by bites from infected mosquitoes and ticks were discovered or introduced in the U.S.
Local and state health departments and vector control organizations face increasing demands to respond to these threats. More than 80% of vector control organizations report needing improvement in 1 or more of 5 core competencies, such as testing for pesticide resistance. More proven and publicly accepted mosquito and tick control methods are needed to prevent and control these diseases. Recent outbreaks of Zika, chikungunya, and West Nile viruses and the steady increase in Lyme disease cases point to the need for state and local agencies to have comprehensive vector-borne disease prevention and control programs.
Healthcare providers can be influential in educating their patients about prevention of vector-borne disease. Education mayinclude:
- Reminder to use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent.
- Encourage wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
- Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets.
- Find and remove ticks daily from family and pets.
- Take steps to control mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas inside and outside your home.
Follow the link below to read the CDC’s new Vital Signs report.
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