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Posts Tagged ‘mosquitos’

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Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 2.11.19 PMFlorida’s first three Zika infections were reported yesterday, and along with the horrible damage the virus can do to babies, another rare disease may be connected to the the mosquito-borne Zika.  CDC and Brazilian health authorities are now trying to figure out how Zika may be triggering or causing the Guillain-Barré syndrome, which causes nerve damage, paralysis, and in rare cases, death.  Cases of the rare disease have increased significantly in the past few months, and who knows what other nastiness this little bug may be capable of?

Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Jamaica have all officially asked women to delay becoming pregnant until more can be learned about Zika, while in the US, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas and Hawaii have confirmed Zika infections involving returning travelers who were likely bitten by mosquitoes while abroad.  While the Olympics is the last thing anyone with a baby on the way is thinking about, Zika threatens to do the impossible and overshadow even the ongoing media scrum around Guanabara Bay’s pollution.

With Rio 2016 already scrapping bleachers and stands for sailing, swimming, and paddling events, plans for permanent facilities thrown in the trash, and ticket sales moving at a snail’s pace, much of the Brazilian public is wishing its government had stayed away from the 5-ring circus.  And perhaps the biggest antidote for those seeking to host more super-events like the Games is this: Some scientists believe the Zika outbreak in Brazil can be traced to African tourists who came over in 2014 to watch the FIFA World Cup.

One SA reader told us there is no screwing around.  We’ll share his full e-mail:

Good job presenting the scare factor.  Yes, Zika is scary shit.  So are you ready for an article about the ONLY thing that sailors can do…Get self-protection against mosquito bites with modern, effective mosquito repellents.  We call it Personal Protection.

Signed:  David A. Carlson, Ph.D.  [World expert on mosquito protection, 200 publication in scientific papers, Research Chemist (Ret. after 37 years) at USDA, Center for Medical Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, FL]

 

January 22nd, 2016 by admin

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MosquitoBack in January we told you about a new mosquito-borne illness in the Caribbean, and while we haven’t heard reports of any yacht racers being stricken by Chikunguya this winter, we expect next year to be a different story for the Dengue-like disease. The latest report from the Associated Press says that there are ”currently more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the fast-spreading chikungunya virus in the Caribbean, most of them in the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin. Another 31,000 suspected cases have been reported across the region of scattered islands.”   From 3 cases in December to up to 35,000 in May…and that all happened during the dry season.

The good news is that, like Dengue, Chikunguya is rarely fatal and generally only knocks you down for a week.  But like Dengue (and Malaria), even if you get off quickly, victims may suffer lasting pain and other effects for months or years.  International health authorities are doing what they can to stave off an epidemic, but as anyone who has spent any time in the tropics knows, it’s impossible to ‘wipe out’ mosquito diseases, so this one is here to stay, at least at some level.

So wear your long shirts and pants and hose yourself down with the DEET next time you’re down in the Islands (especially the French ones), and be thankful there’s no malaria!

 

May 5th, 2014 by admin

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