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Beating the Odds and Understanding the Potential U.S. Hot Spots of Zika Virus

Bite-Lite is well stocked with its natural mosquito repellent candles, and therefore well prepared for any event, including an outbreak of the Zika virus in the U.S. should this summer’s temperatures in certain cities become favorable to the Aedes aegypti mosquito that has been known to spread the disease.    

According to a story in the American Council on Science and Health on March 18, 2016, 50 U.S. cities could see the arrival of the Aedes aegypti in June based on the right atmospheric conditions that could breed these mosquitoes.   This story was based on a new modeling study that was part of a research paper entitled “On the Season Occurrence and Abundance of the Zika Virus Vector Mosquito Aedes aegypti in the Contiguous United States.”   Andrew J. Monagham, the study’s lead author, acknowledged that the paper's predictions have several caveats.   Some of these factors include: competition with other species that could affect the Aedes population; eradication efforts; more areas where climate change would be more optimal for breeding; and in the converse, less areas would be affected if the eggs don’t hatch. 

Since we last reported on the Zika Virus in February, there have been no locally acquired vector borne cases in the U.S., according to the Center on Disease Control.   All 312 cases to date are travel associated (either from travelers returning from affected areas, their sexual contacts, or infants infected in utero.)    Of those cases reported, 27 were pregnant women, 6 were sexually transmitted, and 1 had Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The situation in the U.S. Territories is nearly the reverse, however.   Travel related cases are reported at 3, but locally acquired cases are at 349.  Of the 352 total cases reported, 37 were pregnant women and 1 had Guillain-Barré syndrome.     Puerto Rico had the most locally acquired cases at 325.  American Samoa had 14, and the US Virgin Islands had 10.

To read in more detail about the new modeling study, go to http://currents.plos.org/outbreaks/article/on-the-seasonal-occurrence-and-abundance-of-the-zika-virus-vector-mosquito-aedes-aegypti-in-the-contiguous-united-states/.

 

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