NY Travel Clinic

Infectious Mosquitoes in New Regions

A new disease-tracking website suggests that mosquitoes may be moving into new ecological niches.

The website is called ProMED mail. PromMED stands for the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases. The site has posted over a dozen such reports that indicate the transfer of different mosquito species – many of which are known to transmit human diseases.

A large number of these reports concern the U.S. including Aedes aegypti which is known to transmit yellow-fever, Zika, dengue and Chikungunya moving into areas in California and Nevada. Other reports note mosquito species in South Pacific islands and in some parts of Europe.

The website is overseen by the International Society for Infectious Diseases. The alerts that come from this site are thus legitimate and include those that are released by news media, government and other reliable sources. The site is managed by moderators to ensure that any news items posted here are truly authentic and not simply there to raise unnecessary alarm.

ProMED mail has been chronicling Public Health England’s struggle to keep Aedes albopictus, the tiger mosquito at bay. This species of mosquito is known to spread Chikungunya. More than 30 surveillance stations have been put up at ports, airports and truck stops to guard against this species.

These new reports of infectious mosquito species moving into new regions could indicate an increased risk of mosquito-transmitted diseases. Similar to actions taken by Public Health England, it may be the right time to take these warnings seriously and to take actions that could curtail this movement and protect people from being infected with serious infections such as Yellow Fever, Zika, Chikungunya, and others. Mosquitoes have been known to cause havoc over the years, Zika being one recent example, and it is imperative that proactive actions are taken by health authorities to avoid similar outbreaks.