With Aedes aegypti in the news at nearly every turn, it’s important for pest management professionals (PMPs) to take the longer view about the true risk of a mosquito-borne public health crisis. For yellow fever mosquitoes to cause an outbreak in the continental United States, the following five steps must occur:
- People infected with Zika, chikungunya or dengue enter the United States.
- An Aedes aegypti mosquito in the United States bites an infected person during the first week of infection when the virus is in the person’s blood.
- The infected mosquito lives long enough for the virus to multiply.
- The mosquito bites another person.
- The cycle continues multiple times to start an outbreak.
Dr. Mitchell, BCE is Pest Management Professional‘s technical editor. He regularly writes PMP‘s Most Wanted column. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.