Dengue Fever

Many victims of yellow fever and dengue epidemics lie in this New Orleans cemetery.

The title of this blog is not a very catchy title, but I thought I’d drop in here and share a bit of information I learned about dengue fever. This is a fever that has plagued tropical regions of the world for centuries, but thanks to human activity, its reach is expanding. There is a vaccine in the works, but not one recommended for general use by the World Health Organization. People pretty much have to depend on physical prevention.

Dengue Fever is spread by mosquitoes, so prevention means keeping mosquitoes away. The two known carriers are Aedes.aegypti (sometimes called the yellow fever mosquito) and Aedes.albopictus, commonly called the tiger mosquito. It’s the tiger mosquito that is carrying the disease into temperate zones. These are not favored by *Aedes.aegypti*. It seems that the eggs of the tiger mosquito can survive a serious winter. And the eggs themselves can carry the disease.

I wrote a rather long article on this, which describes the most dangerous aspect of dengue: the first bout may be survived by most healthy people without much complication. However a second bout, with another variety of the disease (there are four subtypes) can lead to hemorrhagic dengue. This is a potentially life-threatening condition.

So, if you’ve had dengue and think you might be immune. No. That’s not true. You will be immune only to the type that you caught. The other three subtypes are very dangerous for you. Treatment at a facility with experience in fighting this disease is important.

More information, with links to references, may be found at my Steemit blog: “Is Dengue Fever Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

Two mosquito species, Aedes.aegypti and Aedes.albopictus, are known to transmit dengue, yellow fever and other viral diseases. It turns out, they can travel pretty far, but mostly take advantage of resources near human habitation. These resources can be any container that holds a small amount of water.

So, empty those gutters. Don’t leave old tires around (this seems to be a favorite egg-laying site), and clear out pools of standing water, no matter where you find them.