Search Results for: "standing water"

  1. In the Wake of Hurricanes: The Problem with Standing Water

    A discarded tire containing standing water can become a choice breeding ground for mosquitoes.

    A discarded tire containing standing water can become a choice breeding ground for mosquitoes.

    As flood waters recede in Houston and Florida, a new public health threat rears its ugly head: Mosquitoes breeding in standing water left in the wake of hurricanes. Puddles, flower pots and saucers, rain barrels, bird baths, pet bowls, discarded tires, overturned trash can lids, canvas and plastic tarps covering boats and pools, and even swimming pools themselves can become watery incubators for mosquitoes.

    Although most mosquitoes do not spread disease, some do spread Zika virus, West Nile virus, chikungunya, malaria, encephalitis and dengue fever. Fortunately, after a quiet summer for Zika virus on the US mainland during which there was no known local transmission of the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not expect to see cases of Zika virus appearing in the wake of flooding from the recent hurricanes, READ MORE >>

  2. After the Hurricane: How to Handle a Flooded Swimming Pool or Spa

    flooded-poolThe 2017 hurricane season is one for the record books. Among the issues residents in affected areas are contending with is flooded backyard swimming pools and spas. A new Fact Sheet from The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals provides expert and detailed guidance on safely returning your flooded pool or spa to working condition. This article lists key highlights from the Fact Sheet, but we advise you to consult the original document for the most detailed guidance.

    Electrical Safety

    Safety is the first and most important consideration in addressing your flooded pool or spa. Electrocution is “a real and present danger and frequently accounts for many deaths after a major storm,” according to the Fact Sheet. Before attempting any clean-up activities, turn off the power to all pool and spa equipment at the main circuit breaker or fuse box. Remember: Never touch a circuit breaker or fuse with wet … READ MORE >>

  3. Out of the Jungle: Yellow Fever on the Rise

    Brown Howler Monkey According to a recent Science Daily report, thousands of brown howler monkeys in a forest in southeastern Brazil have died of yellow fever.

    Brown Howler Monkey
    According to a recent Science Daily report, thousands of brown howler monkeys in a forest in southeastern Brazil have died of yellow fever.

    Yellow fever, a deadly scourge transmitted by mosquitoes that has impacted the course of human history time and time again, is on the rise in Latin America. The first yellow fever death in Brazil in 17 years occurred in January 2017, when a young person who worked in the jungle succumbed to the disease. A recent Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) “Situation summary in the Americas” reported that since the current outbreak began in Brazil in December 2016, there have been over 1,400 confirmed or suspected cases and at least 234 deaths in six states of that country. Suspected and confirmed yellow fever cases have also been reported in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Suriname.

    Yellow fever is indigenous to some … READ MORE >>

  4. Stepping up Our Game against Zika Virus

    “Ground zero” for the first likely cases of locally transmitted Zika virus in the US has been identified as a one-mile square patch in the Wynwood neighborhood north of downtown Miami.  The virus has not yet been found in local mosquitoes, but Florida Department of Health officials are aggressively implementing disease and environmental surveillance while city and county agencies conduct mosquito control measures.   These include ground level spraying of the “ground hugging,” mosquitoes (aerial spraying is less efficient and effective), treating storm drains and removing standing water in affected neighborhoods.  Blood donations from the affected region are being screened for the virus. In short, it’s “game on” for Zika virus prevention in Florida where I work as an environmental administrator.

    CDC poster illustrates measures to protect against mosquito bites

    Health Officials Working Together

    The Florida Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are partnering … READ MORE >>

  5. Lifecycle of the Zika-transmitting Mosquito


    Mosquito borne illnesses have played a significant role the course of human history and continue to have repercussions on human health.
    READ MORE >>
  6. Preparing for the Summer of Zika Virus

    Fig. 1. U.S. map showing 1) Ae. aegypti potential abundance for Jan/July (colored circles), 2) approximate maximum known range of Ae. aegypti (shaded regions) and Ae. albopictus (gray dashed lines), and 3) monthly average number arrivals to the U.S. by air and land from countries on the CDC Zika travel advisory. Additional details can be found in the text. Figure reproduced with permission of PLOS Currents Outbreaks.

     

    Are you curious about your risk of contracting Zika virus this summer?  The figure above is from a brand new study1 on the projected spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the main Zika virus “vector”2. Based on meteorological models, mosquito-breeding patterns, air travel and socioeconomic status, the study compares the January, 2016 abundance of the mosquito (upper hemisphere of each circle) in each geographical location with its projected abundance this July (lower hemisphere of each circle).  The area … READ MORE >>

  7. Zika Virus: On the Move

    Zika virus is being actively transmitted by mosquitoes in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, Curacao, Guyana, French Guyana, Suriname, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Haiti, Dominican Republic, US Virgin Islands, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Barbados.

    The Zika virus, a flavivirus1, is spreading “explosively” through several Latin American and Caribbean countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), prompting that group to declare an international health emergency which, according to the BBC “…means research and aid will be fast-tracked to tackle the infection.”  The virus is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquito that, according to WHO, transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.  The virus was identified in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys, then in humans in Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania in 1952.  Recently, Zika … READ MORE >>

  8. Responding to Dengue Fever

    Responding to Dengue Fever

    The female Aedes aegypti mosquito is the “vector” that transmits dengue fever from person to person.Image reprinted from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

    In the wake of recent monsoons and flooding, mosquito-borne dengue fever is once again on the rise in the Asia Pacific Region.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), worldwide, dengue fever cases number over 50 million annually.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates1 that globally 2.5 billion people, over one-third of the world’s population, live in areas that put them at risk for the viral disease, and about 70 percent of them (1.8 billion) live in the Asia Pacific Region.

    Dengue is rare in the continental US, but endemic in Puerto Rico, where the CDC maintains a center of expertise and a diagnostic laboratory in its San Juan Dengue Branch.  It is also endemic to … READ MORE >>

  9. West Nile Virus: A Seasonal Epidemic in North America


    West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2015 (as of August 11, 2015)
    Map courtesy of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

    This summer North America is once again experiencing a “seasonal epidemic” of West Nile virus that is expected to last through the fall.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, the mosquito-borne virus has been reported in 42 US states as of August 11, 2015.  Fortunately, most people who are infected with the virus show no symptoms; about 20 percent of people infected develop mild symptoms (e.g., headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash) after three to 14 days.  Less than one percent of those infected become seriously ill (e.g., high fever, muscle weakness, neck stiffness, stupor, and potentially permanent or fatal neurological disease).  There are no medications to treat West Nile virus, nor vaccines to prevent … READ MORE >>

  10. Avoiding Chikungunya and Other Mosquitoborne Illnesses

    Chikungunya
    Chikungunya is spread by Aedes mosquitoes, which are found throughout much of the world.

    A pediatrician returned home to Minnesota recently after providing voluntary medical service in Haiti. She arrived with “crushing joint pain” from chikungunya (pronounced: \chik-en-gun-ye), a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. The exotic-sounding disease can cause high fever in addition to joint and muscle pain. These symptoms are similar to those of dengue, another mosquitoborne illness that currently threatens the popular FIFA World Cup™ games in Brazil.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chikungunya is rarely deadly and most people feel better within a week, but for some, joint pain may persist for months.  The Minnesota pediatrician declared to the Minneapolis Star Tribune:  “I’ve broken a bone. I’ve had other medical issues. I don’t think I’ve ever been in so much pain.”

    “That which bends up”

    The term “chikungunya” comes from the … READ MORE >>

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