Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dengue Fever Hits Key West, Florida

Mosquito borne diseases once thought eradicated seem to be returning since the ban on the use of DDT was imposed in 1972.

ABC News tells us,

"More than two dozen cases of locally-acquired dengue fever have hit the resort town of Key West, Fla., in the past nine months, officials from the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said."

"The re-emergence of dengue in Florida as well as the threat posed to the U.S. from other emerging mosquito-borne arboviruses (e.g., chikungunya) emphasizes the necessity for strong vector-borne surveillance and mosquito control infrastructure to rapidly identify and control outbreaks of dengue or other mosquito-borne diseases," MMWR's editors wrote in a commentary accompanying the report.

It is endemic in the Western Hemisphere from Mexico southward. Most cases seen by U.S. physicians have involved travelers to such regions.

Due to the resurgence of such disease, primarily in Africa, many advocate lifting the restrictions placed on DDT use.

See also the NPR article Dengue Fever In Florida Portends A Growing Problem

Growing up in South Florida, I recall the trucks going up and down streets spraying insecticide. To us, they were fog trucks that we ran behind, hiding in the fog.

Nearing 62 years old I have no ill effects nor does anyone else I am in touch with that I grew up with.

DDT was the most effective weapon combating this and many other mosquito borne diseases, which are worse than possible ill effects of DDT.

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