Dengue fever is back: why the dangerous disease is here to stay

If the most efficient dengue fever carrier, a mosquito called Aedes aegypti, establishes itself in California, it won’t be because the state didn’t put up a fight. Since the mosquito was first spotted on June 9th of this year in Madera County, CA, pest-control teams have been working overtime to kill its young, trap its adults, and eliminate its egg-laying locations.

But officials charged with eradicating the mosquito say they’re losing the war. “We would like to eliminate the mosquito,” says Steve Mulligan, a manager with the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, “but at this point all we’re doing is trying to control its spread.” Tim Phillips, Mulligan’s counterpart at the Fresno Mosquito and Vector Control District, agrees. “Outside of the weather maybe helping us, I don’t know if eradicating the mosquito will be possible.”

In just under six months, the invasive bug has spread to at least four counties and continues to widen its foothold in central California. But what most Americans don’t know is that the dengue virus was once common in the US — and could be again.

“There was dengue all the way up to Philadelphia, as early as 1780,” says Crystal Franco, a researcher specializing in disease risk assessment at the University of Pittsburgh. The mosquitoes that carried dengue and malaria were largely eradicated during World War II thanks to efforts by the World Health Organization (WHO).

 



Source: The Verge - Read the original article here

Author: Daily Tech Whip

This article is part of our 'News Tiles' service. The site is currently in Beta. When it is fully operational you will be able to search through and arrange the 'Tiles' to display a keyword, product or technology over your chosen time period. For example you would be able to display all of the leading tech articles on the new Kindle Fire, in one spot in real time. You will also have access to our own original reporting and analysis as well as a polished place to post your own thoughts & reviews here, amongst the Daily Tech Whip Community. Please let us know if you have any feedback via the contact form or via Twitter. Don't forget to come back next week and see our full site and claim your name and your own free tech blog.

Share This Post On