Tempering the risk of mosquito-borne illness


June 7, 2016


Aedes aegypti (PHOTO: DR. GERRY WEGNER)

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:

  1. People infected with Zika, chikungunya or dengue enter the United States.
  2. 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.
  3. The infected mosquito lives long enough for the virus to multiply.
  4. The mosquito bites another person.
  5. 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 docmitchell@northcoastmedia.net.

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