Mosquito Borne Illness in Texas Increase
We all know that vectors are those organisms, which are usually insects, which transmit a disease or disease causing parasite. For the longest time, we mostly had to worry about ticks, as they were the most common vectors in the U.S. However, recent reports from The U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been warning that mosquito borne illnesses are on the rise in the country. This is not something that was a problem since, although mosquitos have always been a problem especially in the spring and summer months that make up mosquito season, most mosquito borne illnesses were thought to be found in tropical countries in South America, Asia and Africa. However, over the last number of years, cases of mosquito borne illnesses have been on the increase in the U.S, with Texas being particularly hit hard. There are a number of reasons that are behind this increase of mosquito borne illnesses in Texas particularly and this is what this article will look to take a close look at as it will look to highlight some of the factors that are particular to Texas that have helped in this increase.
We all know that mosquitos thrive in areas with high temperatures and that is why they thrive in tropical areas around the equator. The problem is, climate change has been an issue that has been affecting the world and the U.S; and as far as it is concerned, Texas has been the part of the country that has been hit hard by climate change and global warming. The impact of climate change and global warming in Texas has been so pronounced that it has been estimated that by 2050, Texas would have had some 80 to 100 days where the temperatures would have gone above the 95 degrees Fahrenheit mark. To put this into perspective, over the last 30 years, we have had only 40 such days which means the number will more than double in the next 30 years or so. When folks think about climate change and global warming, they usually think of rising sea levels and melting glaciers but it is the effect that the increase in temperature has had in the increase of mosquito borne illnesses in Texas that is of particularly concern to us. This increase in temperatures in Texas has created a conducive environment for mosquitos to breed and thrive which goes to explain the increase in mosquito borne illnesses.
Another factor that has been a major driving force behind the increase in mosquito borne illnesses in Texas has been the increase in rain levels. In the summer of 2018, Texas recorded unprecedentedly high levels of rainfall, which unsurprisingly led to an increase in the population if mosquitos in the area. The summer of this year was just as worse and this increase in rain levels has certainly had an impact as far as the increase in mosquito borne illnesses in Texas. This is because, heavy rains lead to the formation of lots of puddles of standing water, which, as we all know, provide a conducive environment for Mosquitoes, and especially those of the genus Culex to breed. These are the mosquitos that transmit the West Nile virus and it is no surprise therefore that cases of this illness have been on the increase in the last couple of years. According to the CDC, the West Nile virus is now the most commonly transmitted mosquito borne illness not only in Texas, but also in the whole country. The numbers don’t lie as between 2017 and 2018, there were just over 260 reported cases of West Nile illness as well as 11 deaths, which is significant to say the least.
Human migration is one of the key factors as far as the spread of such diseases around the world is concerned. In the U.S, there is no state that has been hit more with this than Texas. This is because Texas has seen a population boom in the last couple of years, with many people from all over moving there. Stats show that Texas currently has got five of the eight fastest growing large cities as well as the five fastest growing small cities in the country. There is no doubt that this population growth has contributed to the increase of mosquito borne illnesses in Texas as we are seeing illnesses such as the Chikungunya and Zika as well as the Dengue viruses being reported for the first time ever in Texas, although these illnesses had not been known to occur in the U.S previously. The state has also seen declining numbers in terms of rates of vaccinations in the last couple of years and this has definitely had an impact when it comes to the increase of mosquito borne illnesses as it has left a significant number of the population vulnerable to attacks.
From the above discussion, you can begin to have an idea on why there has been an increase in mosquito borne illnesses, and it is our hope you can keep safe by following the various mosquito bite prevention techniques and procedures out there and stay healthy.