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Epidemic

May 2024
1min read


I enjoyed Bernard Weisberger’s article “Epidemic” but can not resist commenting on a statement he made. He said that the mosquito Aedes aegypti has been eradicated from the Americas. Unfortunately this is not true; as a matter of fact, no mosquito has been eradicated from any of the earth’s continents. Insects are the most adaptable animal on the face of the earth. It is true that the numbers of Aedes aegypti have been reduced through local abatement efforts at source reduction (elimination of breeding habitat), larviciding, and ultralow-volume adulticide spray programs. In addition, the screening of living quarters has reduced human exposure to these man-biting mosquitoes. As the author stated, the mosquito gets the disease by biting an infected person, and after a one- to two-week incubation period the mosquito can then transmit the disease by its bite. In areas susceptible to yellow fever, it is the responsibility of local abatement programs to kill the mosquitoes before the incubation period has expired.

The control of Aedes aegypti is an ongoing process. The public should not become complacent: this adaptable mosquito has been utilizing abandoned tires in recent years as a breeding habitat. Who knows what type of habitat it will find in the twenty-first century? Only continuous control will hold the battle line with this disease-vectoring mosquito.

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