Coming Soon to a Puddle Near You: Mosquitoes and Dengue Fever

Reading Time: 4 minutes

1Next to man, mosquitoes are the most dangerous creatures on earth, public health officials say. The diseases they spread have killed more people than all the wars in history.

Poisonous spiders and snakes can kill you, but they tend to mind their own business, and it usually doesn’t involve you. Not so with mosquitoes. You are their business.

Mosquitoes are spreading more and more disease in this country—and there’s more of it to spread in the first place. This is partly because of infected people entering the U.S. from places where infectious diseases are flourishing.

An especially dangerous disease to look out for in the coming months is dengue fever, which can be fatal. It is also under-recognized. But, between 2011 and 2012, known cases of dengue increased by 42 percent in the continental U.S.—357 cases up from 251—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Most occurred in Florida, New York, and California. In that same period, cases in Puerto Rico nearly tripled to 4,450.  (Click here for an updated map of the disease worldwide.)

Dengue has spread from nine countries to more than 100 in 50 years and is an underestimated risk affecting as many as 390 million people, according to this video by the International Federation of the Red Cross summarizing the global scope of the threat:

One aspect of climate chaos—global warming—may contribute to the spread. According to Scientific American:

The increased warming predicted for the southern U.S. along with increased flooding means dengue fever will no doubt be spreading north on the backs of mosquitoes into U.S. states that never thought they would have to deal with such exotic outbreaks.

In the same article, Maria Diuk-Wasser of the Yale School of Public Health explains the connection:

The direct effects of temperature increase are an increase in immature mosquito development, virus development and mosquito biting rates, which increase contact rates (biting) with humans. 

1

NRDC map shows earlier progress of dengue fever over a 10-year period.

Symptoms

Diagnosing dengue fever is tricky. Some of the symptoms are similar to those of other diseases, such as West Nile Virus.  At first, it can even resemble the flu. But the most characteristic symptoms are high fever and severe pain in bones, the reason the disease is also called “breakbone fever.”  Some cases are mild, while others can advance to the deadly hemorrhagic stage.

All forms of dengue fever are associated with the same four viruses. So, if your neighbor develops only a mild form of the disease, do not assume that you or your children will have the same fate if bitten by the same mosquito.

1

Here is a concise description of the symptoms and progression of the disease, according to the Mayo Clinic:

Many people, especially children and teens, may experience no signs or symptoms during a mild case of dengue fever. When symptoms do occur, they usually begin four to 10 days after the person is bitten by an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of dengue fever most commonly include:

–   Fever up to 106 F (41 C)
–   Headaches
–   Muscle, bone and joint pain
–   Pain behind your eyes

You might also experience:

–   Widespread rash
–   Nausea and vomiting
–   Minor bleeding from your gums or nose

Most people recover within a week or so. In some cases, however, symptoms worsen and can become life-threatening. Blood vessels often become damaged and leaky, and the number of clot-forming cells in your bloodstream falls. This can cause:

–   Bleeding from the nose and mouth
–   Severe abdominal pain
–   Persistent vomiting
–   Bleeding under the skin, which may look like bruising
–   Problems with your lungs, liver and heart

Prevention

There is no limit to the number of swamps or the variety of contraptions people leave around that hold stagnant water—all so perfect for breeding mosquitoes.

1

Since mosquitoes are here to stay, it’s best to be prepared. The CDC recommends insect repellents that contain the following: DEET, picaridin, and IR3535. It also notes that “some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.”  If used with a sunscreen, the CDC says the sunscreen should be applied first.

And keep a thermometer handy.

1

World War II Poster Warning of the Dangers of Creating Mosquito Breeding Sites

IMAGE: Mosquito

IMAGE: Dengue MAP

IMAGE: Dengue Fever Symptoms

IMAGE:  Places for Breeding

IMAGE: Old Poster

[box]WhoWhatWhy plans to continue doing this kind of groundbreaking original reporting. You can count on it. But can we count on you? We cannot do our work without your support.

Please click here to donate; it’s tax deductible. And it packs a punch.[/box]

Where else do you see journalism of this quality and value?

Please help us do more. Make a tax-deductible contribution now.

Our Comment Policy

Keep it civilized, keep it relevant, keep it clear, keep it short. Please do not post links or promotional material. We reserve the right to edit and to delete comments where necessary.

print

12 responses to “Coming Soon to a Puddle Near You: Mosquitoes and Dengue Fever”

  1. 海味批發 says:

    Title

    […]the time to read or visit the content material or internet sites we’ve linked to below the[…]

  2. Title

    […]check below, are some completely unrelated sites to ours, having said that, they may be most trustworthy sources that we use[…]

  3. hp says:

    did you know that dengue mosquitoes do not actually breed in swamps as you have outlined above.

  4. Factual source: Read The Times Of India; “Home cure for dengue death sting – Dec. 12, 2012”, and “Neem-papaya juice passes dengue
    test scientific endorsement – Dec. 20, 2012”. Papaya leaf extract has been scientifically researched and proven to be a cure for dengue fever, even since Doctor Sanath Hettige reported his findings in professional medical journals and news media since 2008. Dr. Hettige sent a letter to the editor of the British Medical Journal in 2011 in an effort to bring this to the world’s attention.

    This information is not brought to citizens of the world because it is
    readily available to those who have access to papaya trees and learn
    the simple preparations of extract or boiling the leaves as a tea as
    preventive and remedies for many diseases. I beg all who read this
    to do the research– cures are known, using papaya and even camote
    (sweet potato) leaves. Lives will be saved if you are willing to do
    the research. I drink a cup of papaya or camote tea each morning.
    I’ve been blogging this for more than 2/years and this is not mere
    speculations.

  5. Gary Schoener says:

    Excellent article.

  6. sfulmer says:

    …and when the virus finally breaks down and washes out through your skin, it stinks!

  7. Kurt P says:

    “…we reserve the right to remove any comment at any time, especially when it appears to be part of an effort to push a deceptive, unscientific, false or narrow ideological line.”
    And yet you never miss an opportunity to push the global warming dogma at every turn. I have no doubt whatsoever that you will delete my comment, but I must give it in any case. For all your good work – and you have done a lot of it – you have been led – and are leading folks – down the proverbial garden path. Even as reality is intruding into your global warming delusion (sun-driven dynamics for starters), the GW community has doubled down on it’s efforts, as if to push the agenda over the top before it’s too late, and too many people see through the terrible “science” they’ve been sold.
    I’ve pointed out (here and elsewhere) in the past that an honest look at CO2 could undo the delusion – if the person looking was willing to see truth.

    • russbaker says:

      The reason we delete these is simple: (1) the vast majority of scientists, whom we do not believe are all conspiring to lie to us, disagree with you. (2) We dont know who you are or what credentials you have to assure us that we ought to do nothing about warnings of impending doom (3) Despite overwhelming public recognition that it would be at minimum prudent to do something responsible, anonymous individuals like you are constantly trying to post what we consider either ignorant comments or disinformation. We see no reason to be a platform for that–particularly in light of a well-documented campaign by fossil fuel companies to swarm websites. Ok? This is our site and that’s our reading of this.

    • JoeShmo says:

      Thanks for putting him up and responding to him/her this way.

      There is much confusion and we don’t want any dogma rammed down our throats by anyone.

      There are many possible reasons for climate change including solar changes and Earth’s core temp changes in addition to Man’s emissions, all very complex that we don’t quite understand yet.

      The only things we can change are what we are in control of we inderstand this, however, we must also be cognizant of the fact that there may be forces beyond our control that we must adapt to,… or move on to another planet.

    • Kurt P says:

      I appreciate that you left my comment up. However, I would like to point out the weakness of your response/logic about your reasoning behind deleting dissenting comments (again, acknowledging it is your site and you may handle it as you see fit).
      By the numbers; 1)”the vast majority of scientists…” – only 5 words, but multiple problems here. As fact based journalists, I hope you can support that claim,although I’m not sure how you could. To determine a “majority” we must have the total, so, how many “scientists” are there? And what kind of scientists are they? Of this total, how many actually support the official version as published? With 51% being a simple majority, what counts as “vast”? 75%? Beyond these basic number questions on this claim, there is the fact that it is well known that numerous participants in the IPCC projects/studies have publicly stated that the policy summaries which are publicly promoted, are significantly altered from the actual work that has been done, and in some cases, conclusions have been altered to the point that they (the signatories) would have their names removed, if they could. Another problem with this vague claim is the use of the word “scientist”. Large numbers of the signatories to the IPCC studies (and then the misrepresentative summaries) are in fact NOT scientists at all. Many are simply bureaucrats. This too is well known, but not often acknowledged.
      STILL on #1), you go on to say “…whom we do not believe are conspiring to lie to us…”. Your “beliefs” notwithstanding, I would point out again that your “vast majority” need not be lying to us, as the entire AGW argument is based on the policy summaries, which ARE subject to manipulation and misrepresentation.
      2)Not knowing who I am, or what credentials I possess, is IRRELEVANT. If you were hiking on a path, and someone were to tell you to watch out for falling rocks, would you demand to know if they were a geologist – or would you take a closer look at your surroundings? This response of yours is classic cognitive dissonance in action. The message conflicts with the existing bias – so kill the messenger.
      3)”…overwhelming public recognition…” Seriously? “Overwhelming” is in the same vague vein as “vast majority”, and while hyperbolic, it is wholly unacceptable as argument due to it’s impreciseness. Taken a step further, I would challenge ANY claim on EITHER side of the AGW debate of “overwhelming” numbers of people supporting a given premise. Beyond that, in your #2 point, you rationalize IGNORING my position, due to a lack of known credentials, yet here in #3 you wish to use a contrived “overwhelming” number of my fellow ignorant, un-credentialed humans IN SUPPORT of your position. Hypocritical, wouldn’t you agree?
      You then go on to make another false claim – my anonymity. The last time I took issue with AGW in your work you had a similar response. It was as disingenuous then as it is now. I have signed in under my own name, under the venue requirements of YOUR choosing, using a Google methodology. I am definitely something less than “anonymous”.
      Did you ever even consider that the reason “individuals like” me are constantly trying to post what YOU consider either ignorant comments or disinformation, is that perhaps some of us actually have a different understanding of the science/theories, and have actually come to some different conclusions? Again, cognitive dissonance dictates that I must be ignorant, or disinfo.
      Concluding, you go on to cite a “well-documented” campaign by fossil fuel companies to swarm websites and your desire not to be a platform for such disinfo. Again – many problems with this tack. For starters, IF fossil fuel is engaged in online disinfo campaigns, I’d have to imagine that you mean the sort of which we have ample evidence of government participating in…you know…multiple persona software and the like…and if that is what you mean, then it seems odd that you feel ONE side of the issue may be prone to disfinfo, but not the other. Also on that point, your deleting of comments by ME in the past – and I think I have demonstrated then and now that I am not an MPS sock-puppet – is again, unwarranted.
      And as far as your seeming belief that fossil fuel only operates on ONE side of this charade, leaves me questioning your own ability to learn from history, and to think objectively. The circumstances surrounding the creation of the Federal Reserve/central banking in America is a well known and very relevant analog. Short version… the bankers – while they themselves AUTHORED the bills leading to the creation of the Fed – pretended to be AGAINST the idea, because they knew what the public thought of them, and that if they publicly were against the Fed, the unwashed masses would reflexively be FOR it.
      America was PLAYED THEN, and is being played NOW.
      I have repeatedly attempted to get you to set aside your stubborn “beliefs” born of faulty premise long ago, and simply – and objectively – look at a couple of things. One that I have hinted at repeatedly is the self-evidenced lies of CO2. Long term charting of CO2/temps. will be enough for some to see the AGW lie. For others it may come into focus when they look at the DISCONNECT of those two with the most recent CO2 ppm numbers. The other reference I have made is to solar/electro-magnetic/earth relationships.
      I can not – and WILL NOT – attempt to launch a counter-argument against AGW as broad and sufficient as would be required to undo all your prejudice and existing belief in AGW, any more than I would try and launch a massive counter-argument against ANY strongly held belief. I can’t “beat it” out of you. All I can do is try and get you to look at a couple of things critically, and hope you see something you didn’t see before, and on it goes from there.

    • Kurt P says:

      For those with the intellectual honesty and fortitude… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c4XPVPJwBY
      S0 just posted this to youtube and it encompasses many of my points.
      Objective journalists should NEVER dismiss and censor legitimate contrary points of view, simply because of some longstanding cognitive bias.

    • Kevin says:

      I too am a big fan of Russ and WhoWhatWhy but, like Kurt P, I also question man-made climate change. I know Russ’ reply mentioned “whom we do not believe are all conspiring to lie to us” but keep in mind that carbon taxes can bring in huge revenue plus give TPTB control over businesses.

      Personally I don’t know if man-made climate change is legit but I have a very skeptical attitude about it and I think the matter is very far from settled.

      http://www.corbettreport.com/episode-282-the-ipcc-exposed/