Zika Is Not The Only Mosquito-Borne Illness To Fear This Summer
Researchers are not exactly sure how much of a threat the Zika virus will pose to Americans this summer, but they do know that a threat exists. According to Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, women who are reproductively capable should still be cautious, although it has been hard for researchers to ascertain the threat that mosquitoes pose to childbearing women this summer in the US. For example, if you are a woman living in the Gulf region of the US, or Arizona, or southern California, then there is no way of telling how vulnerable you are to Zika, because researchers simply do not know if Zika is present in these areas or not. Of course, medical professionals are still suggesting the use of condoms during sex, and the use of mosquito repellents while outdoors in order to remain safe because medical experts are still unsure about the full impact that the Zika virus has on developing fetuses in the long term.
Although many Americans do not realize it, but Zika is not the only mosquito-borne virus to watch out for this year. The same mosquitoes that carry Zika also spread dengue and chikungunya, and experts are now learning that this type of mosquito is far more common in the US than previously thought. There are also other mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus, and although this virus is not too common, it can still be devastating in many cases. West Nile can lead to neurological problems or even death, and what is perhaps most frightening is that this virus often has no symptoms associated with it.
According to Durland Fish, professor emeritus of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, as the temperatures around the globe increase, so will mosquito-borne disease victims. Also, in many parts of the world, mosquitoes are living longer on account of the warmer temperatures. These mosquitoes are being allowed an extra life cycle because of the heat, which means people will be seeing many more mosquitoes in the near future, and of course, this means more victims of mosquito-borne disease.
Do you believe that the amount of Zika cases in the United States will increase either this summer or next?