Dramatic Increase of Tick- and Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Argas monolakensis Tick
This image shows how the design of the mouth makes ticks generally difficult to remove once they’ve attached for a blood meal. Credit: NIAID

Recent findings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal a staggering threefold increase in reported cases of vector-borne diseases between 2004 and 2016 in the United States. Making matters worse, nine new pathogens emerged for the first time in the U.S. during this same period.

An analysis of data reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System for 16 notifiable vectorborne diseases during that time frame revealed nearly 650,000 cases of reported vectorborne diseases in the United States.

Changes in weather patterns towards longer warm seasons and higher temperatures tend to speed up the life cycle of insects, increasing the population, extending their season, and amplifying the problem.

For many mosquito-borne illnesses threatening the U.S. there is not an effective vaccine or treatment, so the need for better vector-control methods is urgent.

Read more: Scientific American, CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

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