Dramatic Jump in Vector-Borne Disease from 2004 — CDC

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"Zika, West Nile, Lyme and chikungunya - a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick or flea - have confronted the USA in recent years, making a lot of people sick", CDC chief Robert Redfield said.

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

While the CDC did not suggest that Americans drop plans for playing outdoors or resting in hammocks this summer, Redfield emphasized that everyone - especially children - needed to protect themselves against tick and mosquito bites.

Educate the public about how to prevent bites and control germs spread by mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas in their communities. "And we don't know what will threaten Americans next". And so, the true number of cases of these diseases is likely much higher than reported.

Between 2004 and 2016, there were more than 640,000 cases of illnesses spread by these blood-sucking pests, which carry pathogens including Lyme disease, West Nile virus, Dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and even the bubonic plague. West Nile, dengue and Zika were the most common mosquito-borne germs.

According to the study, nine new germs spread by mosquitos and ticks have been discovered or introduced since 2004. In fact, tick-borne diseases actually doubled over the course of the 13-year time period, with Lyme disease accounting for the majority of those infections.

"Many of these diseases are sensitive to increasing temperatures", he told reporters Tuesday.

Data have shown that Zika, once thought to be a benign virus, has caused numerous birth defects in the U.S. Zika and West Nile, which has caused epidemics since it was first introduced in the U.S.in 1999, were the most commonly reported mosquito-borne diseases in the continental U.S. The CDC said it had identified nine new pathogens transmitted by insects within the US over the 13-year stretch, including diseases like the Zika and West Nile viruses and chikungunya, a virus that attacks the joints and can cause extreme pain.

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In a nutshell, Nate said this: "The CDC data appears to show an increase in the incidence of Lyme from 30,000 to 300,000 a couple years ago and the primary vector (Ixodes scapulars) have increased in their range, mostly moving northward". As a result, more people are at risk for infection. Warmer weather has also made tick and mosquito season longer, and mosquitoes tend to become more infectious during heat waves.

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.

As the number of vector-borne cases continues to increase, the burden on local and state health departments has grown as well.

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.

Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent.

"First, we're working to expand the number of effective and publicly accepted mosquito prevention and control options".

The diseases pose "an increasing risk" and the "nation needs to be better prepared to face this public health threat", the report said.

Other factors, including an increase in worldwide travel and more people living near wildlife, also affect the spread of these diseases, Petersen said. "Time and again, we see patients seeking care that will help ease their suffering".

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