Mosquitoes’ rapid spread poses threat beyond Zika

An Aedes aegypti mosquito is seen at the Laboratory of Entomology and Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in this March 6, 2016 file photo. Reuters/Alvin Baez/Files

(SOURCE)   As the world focuses on Zika’s rapid advance in the Americas, experts warn the virus that originated in Africa is just one of a growing number of continent-jumping diseases carried by mosquitoes threatening swathes of humanity.

The battle against the insects on the streets of Brazil is the latest in an ancient war between humankind and the Culicidae, or mosquito, family which the pests frequently win.

Today, mosquito invaders are turning up with increasing regularity from Washington DC to Strasbourg, challenging the notion that the diseases they carry will remain confined to the tropics, scientists documenting the cases told Reuters.

Ironically, humans have rolled out the red carpet for the invaders by transporting them around the world and providing a trash-strewn urban landscape that suits them to perfection.

The Aedes aegypti species blamed for transmitting Zika breeds in car tires, tin cans, dog bowls and cemetery flower vases. And its females are great at spreading disease as they take multiple bites to satisfy their hunger for the protein in human blood they need to develop their eggs.

Around the world, disease-carrying mosquitoes are advancing at speed, taking viruses such as dengue and Zika, plus a host of lesser-known ills such as chikungunya and St. Louis encephalitis, into new territories from Europe to the Pacific.

“The concern is that we have these species spreading everywhere. Today the focus is on Zika but they can carry many different viruses and pathogens,” said Anna-Bella Failloux, head of the department that tracks mosquito viruses at France’s Institut Pasteur.

In 2014, there was a large outbreak of chikungunya, which causes fever and joint pains, in the Caribbean, where it had not been seen before, while the same virus sickened Italians in 2007 in a wake-up call for public health officials.

Europe has seen the re-emergence of malaria in Greece for the first time in decades and the appearance of West Nile fever in eastern parts of the continent.

Out in the Atlantic, the Madeira archipelago reported more than 2,000 cases of dengue in 2012, in a sign of the northerly advance of what – at least until Zika – has been the world’s fastest-spreading tropical disease.

In the past 40 years, six new invasive mosquito species have become established in Europe, with five arriving since 1990, driven in large part by the international trade in used vehicle tires. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in the tires and they hatch when rain moistens them at their destination.

North American health experts are also racing to keep up, with the first appearance of Aedes japonicus, an invasive mosquito, in western Canada last November and Aedes aegypti found in Washington DC, apparently after spending the winter in sewers or Metro subway stations.

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2 thoughts on “Mosquitoes’ rapid spread poses threat beyond Zika

  1. Yes a true sign of the times Gordon! As prophesied in The Bible pestilence and diseases will only escalate as the tribulation period comes nearer soon to arrive in full sway. It will be truly awful for those left behind! The mass migration will introduce diseases of different strains to those that once were eradicated in the Western world. Hear the human outcry when peoples children are put at great risk with no antibiotic or vaccine that can cope with super bugs or deadly viruses and hospitals at breaking point unable to cope with millions of sick people.
    When these things happen and touch peoples lives personally will they then wake up to what is happening ? Will they fear God and repent of their sinful ways crying out to The Holy God, Creator of The Universe and the Giver of all Life? Or will they continue to mock Him calling the Word of The Holy Bible irrelevant to the modern man and accepting false teachings and religions except the ONE that can save! Will they for fear of offending mere man turn from their Creator rejecting The Lords provision and accept the lie that all ways lead to God! What a terrible insult because If Jesus didn’t need to die a horrific torturous death to bring sinful man back into relationship with The Holy Father of mankind Almighty God then He wouldn’t have done so! He wasn’t a madman! He knew there was no other way, God had to pay the price Himself, no other sacrifice would be powerful enough to atone for all the sins of Humanity! We were made Human beings in the likeness of God to have a loving relationship with God, He is the vital piece of the puzzle that is missing from the majority of lives. How blessed we are that know him in truth!

    Rant over!

    God bless you Brother!

  2. Thanks for your comment Christine!

    These diseases and plagues have been getting worse over the years, and they will continue to do so, as will earthquakes, storms, drought, and starvation. And these are only the beginning of things to come!

    The world is being judged and reaping the rewards of its sin, however the wrath of God is yet to come upon a wicked world, and even so many will continue in rebellion.

    We must continue to pray for the lost! God bless!

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