Dengue season usually peaks between June and October, with Asian countries such as Singapore, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines record the highest cases. However, in America, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has recorded 1.6 million cases already, alongside other diseases from mosquitos including the West Nile Virus, Zika, Chikungunya, and the deadly Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus.

The most cases were found in Brazil, reaching up to more than one million cases of dengue, some 200,000 cases behind their coronavirus count. PAHO informed that 'While social distancing measures are in place, households should be encouraged to work together in and around their homes to get rid of stagnant water, reduce and dispose of solid waste, and to ensure proper covering of all water storage containers. These measures can be done as a family activity.'

With almost all medical health care efforts focused on the pandemic, a lot of the dengue cases are being neglected. Dr. Luis Gerardo Castellanos from the PAHO's unit on neglected, tropical, and vector-borne diseases said that being in home quarantine is the best opportunity to clean up places where mosquitos can potentially breed. 'If we all act systematically to eliminate mosquito habitats, we can strike a blow against dengue by reducing the risk of transmission,' he explained.

Mosquitos in the United States

In the United States, cases of dengue fever are slowly increasing in Florida. This week, there had been eight new cases, reported by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District.

Dengue fever is not contagious, and symptoms of fever, headache, and body pain come after three to 14 days after getting bitten by an Aedes aegypti mosquito. Local authorities are reminding the public to take extra precautions during this season.

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County has immediately taken action by checking residential areas and businesses near the suspected places where people have gotten dengue. They will also have aerial adulticide and truck treatments to help reduce the local mosquito population.

Locals are reminded to get rid of standing water such as empty pots, trash cans, and pet bowls. Gutters, boats, and protective tarpaulins should also be checked and cleaned. Lastly, wearing long sleeve shirts and pants will help as well as keeping screen doors and windows closed.

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Heading North

The same precautions are being echoed in Michigan, where they have recently identified the Aedes albopictus or the Asian tiger mosquito. Although mosquitos do not naturally appear in the state due to harsh winters, climate change has allowed the insect population to travel and settle increasingly in northern regions.

This is the third time that Asian tiger mosquitos were spotted in an industrial area, with the first in Livonia in 2017, in Romulus a year after, and now in Taylor. 'Although we have not had any illnesses associated with these species of mosquitoes in Michigan, it is important to take precautions since other mosquitoes can spread viruses such as West Nile and Eastern Equine Encephalitis to people," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief deputy director for health. "We urge Michiganders to take precautions such as using an EPA-registered insect repellent when outdoors.

In Mississippi, they reported the first case of the West Nile Virus this year. 'This is a reminder that even though we are in the midst of ongoing transmission of COVID-19, West Nile virus has not gone away," MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said. 'We are approaching the time of year when WNV is most active in Mississippi, so it's important to protect yourself.'

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