Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have more than tripled

Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have more than tripled

Diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas have more than tripled

Diseases transmitted by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are becoming more unsafe and far more numerous: Between 2004 and 2016, they tripled to almost 650,000 cases, a new CDC report finds.

In the time period covered by the study, nine new diseases showed up in the U.S., including seven carried by ticks, and Zika and chikungunya, which are carried by mosquitoes.

West Nile virus was the most common form of mosquito-borne illness, Petersen said, but there has been a recent "accelerating trend" of mosquito-borne disease being introduced to the us, with West Nile in 1999, chikungunya in 2014, and Zika in 2016.

They include two previously unknown, life-threatening tick-borne viruses - Heartland and Bourbon - that were reported from the Midwest, and the chikungunya and Zika viruses transmitted by mosquitoes that were introduced to Puerto Rico in 2014 and 2015. State and local health departments and vector control organizations are the nation's main defense against this increasing threat.

Zika was the most common disease transmitted by ticks, mosquitoes and fleas reported in 2016, with 41,680 cases reported, followed by Lyme disease, with 36,429 cases, nearly double the number in 2004.

Of the 642,602 total reported cases, more than 75 percent were caused by tick-borne diseases - most commonly, Lyme disease.

CDC officials said the United States is unprepared for a rise in illnesses caused by the bites of mosquitoes, ticks and fleas. However, a 2016 report from the U.S. Global Change Research Program found evidence that climate change has contributed to the expanding range of ticks.

Redfield said the growing burden of vector-borne disease has increased the demand on these organizations and said the CDC must continue to support and enhance their ability to combat them. Overall, more than 640,000 cases of these so-called vector-borne diseases were reported during the study period.

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"These diseases are very weather-dependent", he said.

"Vector-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and Zika virus disease can devastate patients and their families, causing significant suffering", said Dr. Paul Auwaerter, president of the IDSA.

Among mosquito-borne illnesses, West Nile virus occurred most frequently, while dengue fever, chikungunya and the Zika virus hit hardest in USA territories. Overseas travel and commerce are also increasingly common, and someone infected with a mosquito-borne disease like Zika in one country can unknowingly transport it home.

The blacklegged or deer tick is responsible for Lyme disease, which makes up more than 80% of tick-borne disease, along with anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Powassan virus.

"We are also investigating how climate change may impact the spread of vector-borne diseases so that we can take appropriate actions to protect public health", he said.

Government efforts to prevent vector-borne diseases include the funding of states and territories to detect and respond to infections and the development of improved diagnostic tests, vaccines and treatment for these diseases, the CDC said.

Train vector control staff on 5 core competencies for conducting prevention and control activities.

Rosenberg and co-authors disclosed no relevant relationships with industry.

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