Mosquitos Can Leave More Than Itchy Marks As Risk of Disease Increases in Late SummerNPMA Staff
Thursday, August 7, 2014
The National Pest Management Association Encourages Public to
FAIRFAX, Va. (August 7, 2014) - Mosquito bites and summer go
hand in hand, however reports of a rise in chikungunya and West
Nile virus (WNV) cases around the U.S. are a stark reminder that
these insects pose serious health threats. According to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of August 5, there are
a total of 484 chikungunya and 82 West Nile virus cases, including
four recorded deaths, in the United States, not including
territories. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA)
reminds the public that as summer winds down, mosquitoes enter
their most active period, increasing the need for
"In late summer, preventing mosquito bites is paramount as there
is no specific treatment for either West Nile virus or chikungunya.
Although there have only been a few locally transmitted cases of
chikungunya, the number of travelers being diagnosed upon returning
home has spiked compared to years' past. It's best to never assume
that the mosquito buzzing around you or your family is
disease-free," said Dr. Jorge Parada, medical advisor to the
Dr. Parada and the NPMA are advising Americans to become
familiar with the symptoms of each disease and to seek prompt
medical attention if becoming symptomatic.
- According to the CDC, from 2006 - 2013, approximately 28 people
per year tested positive for chikungunya- all resulting from travel
outside the U.S. The first known locally-transmitted cases
were reported in Florida in July 2014. The disease is currently
being reported in 37 states.
- Symptoms start four to eight days after the bite and generally
resolve after one week.
- Patients experience severe joint pain (especially in hands and
feet), fever, headaches, muscle pain, rash and joint
- The virus is typically not fatal, but can be extremely
- There is no treatment or preventative vaccine.
West Nile Virus
- WNV first appeared in North America in 1999 and has spread
throughout the U.S. ever since. It is found in nearly every
- Symptoms begin anytime from three to 14 days after being bitten
and may persist for several weeks.
- Patients experience swollen glands, eye pain, sore throat,
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain - symptoms that are
very similar to a summer flu.
- Approximately 80 percent of human cases may not display any
symptoms, and a person may be unaware they have contracted
- There is no treatment or vaccine, and in some cases WNV can be
According to the NPMA, practicing proper prevention measures can
help protect against mosquitoes and vector-borne disease:
- Always apply insect repellant containing DEET, picaridin,
oil of lemon-eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors and use as
directed on the product label. Apply repellant over top of
sunscreen, and reapply every four to six hours.
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes
are most active, though it is important to note that mosquitoes
that transmit chikungunya are active throughout the day.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes when
- Eliminate areas of standing water around the home including
clogged gutters, birdbaths, flower pots, tires and kiddie pools or
untreated pools. Mosquitoes need only half an inch of water to
- Screen windows and doors, and patch torn screens.
For more information, visit PestWorld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit
organization with more than 7,000 members, was established in 1933
to support the pest management industry's commitment to the
protection of public health, food and property.