Dengue continues to spread in the Western Hemisphere

“Dengue is an important insect-borne viral disease, transmitted in the Western hemisphere by the A. aegypti mosquito. It is endemic in the Caribbean with sporadic outbreaks in different regions. Cases in the United States are mostly imported cases but can be seen in the Gulf states as well as the Southeast. ” Link to full article here.   quoted from – “Ramirez-Ronda CH, Garcia CD. Dengue in the Western Hemisphere. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1994 Mar;8(1):107-28. PMID: 7912702.” 

Dengue in the Western Hemisphere continues to spread

Over the past 30 years the range and prevalence of dengue has increased across the Western Hemisphere. The range for its major vector, Aedes aegypti continues to increase because of climate change and increased urbanization. Everyone involved in pest control & public health in the U.S. needs to be aware of this trend in the years and decades to come.

In an excellent article published in the The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: Vol 82, Issue 1 – A talented group of researchers painstakingly trace the threat of Dengue as it grows across the Americas. 

Here are the names of the authors: José Luis San MartínOlivia BrathwaiteBetzana ZambranoJosé Orlando SolórzanoAlain BouckenoogheGustavo H. DayanMaría G. Guzmán

 The title of the article says it all: “The Epidemiology of Dengue in the Americas Over the Last Three Decades: A Worrisome Reality

Since the time that journal article was published in January 2010, the situation has only grown worse. Up-to-date statistics from the Pan American Health Organization show that in 2020 there were 1 million cases of Dengue confirmed in the Americas. Approximately 500 million people in the Americas live each day with the risk of dengue.

We have seen this in the U.S. as Dengue has continued to gain a foothold in southern Florida. As the prevalence of the disease grows throughout the Americas it will become very difficult to keep Dengue from gaining a foothold in the U.S.

Aedes aegypti awareness in Brasilia Brazil
Worker removes garbage and debris that can be Aedes aegypti breeding areas. Photo credit: Pedro Ventura Brasília Agency 2016

Dengue Fever Increases in Florida & Puerto Rico

69 cases of locally transmitted Dengue fever have been confirmed in  2020 in Florida according to the CDC.

In Puerto Rico there were 436 locally-transmitted cases in 2020.

These cases show that the U.S. is not immune to locally transmitted Dengue cases. This is no longer a disease that is only happening in other places.  As the range of Aedes aegypti increases this reality will remain with us in the years to come.

Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus

Drain and Cover, ... and use insect repellents

Mosquitoes can be found in many different environments and you may not always notice when you have been bitten. Mosquito activity in Florida can be year round. The following are some steps that can be taken to help prevent mosquito bites.

DRAIN: water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

DISCARD: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.

EMPTY and CLEAN: Birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.

PROTECT: Boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

MAINTAIN:The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.

REPELLENT: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. 

See CDC’s guidelines: Insect Repellent Use & Safety

Integrated pest mangement is key to limiting the spread of Ae. aegypti & Ae. albopictus

We recently wrote a full post about ways to protect your yard from mosquitoes. The simple answer is: integrated pest management. You are best protected when you have multiple strategies working in your favor at the same time. We consider treating your yard with Stop The Bites®! to be a key part of that strategy. 

We also urge you to hire a pest control professional to perform the application. Pest control professionals have the correct equipment and know the best methods to apply Stop The Bites! to achieve the best results.  We can help you find a pest control professional near you who uses Stop The Bites! Please enter your location information HERE and we will connect you.

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