Tuesday, September 11, 2007

5 very good reasons to swat those mosquitoes

2. Dengue Fever and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.

These sister diseases are caused by four related flaviviruses that use the Aedes aegypti mosquito as a flying hypodermic needle.

Although the name flavivirus may sound yummy, a disease that causes you to hemorrhage probably isn’t good dinner conversation. While infection sometimes result in only flulike symptoms, there are 50 - 100 million cases and more than 15,000 deaths from the diseases each year.

The first reported epidemics occurred in Asia, Africa, and North America from 1779 to 1780; however, a current pandemic in Southeast Asia has brought the disease back to the forefront.

The good news is that not all people hemorrhage and many immune systems can fight off the disease. The bad news is that the aegypti mosquito is currently in Texas and the southeastern United States, air travel makes disease movement easier, and there is no vaccine.

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