Tag Archives: Aedes mosquitoes

Zika Virus: What you need to know

Last December I wrote about bracing for a new mosquito-borne disease called Zika.  Since then, evidence of a connection between Zika virus and two scary health conditions called Guillian-Barré syndrome and microcephaly has grown. Although there are still no known cases of Zika being acquired from mosquitoes locally, from within the U.S., there is a real possibility that Zika virus could reach Texas this summer.  If so, these issues will become as important to the average stay-at-home Texan, as it is to those folks who are willing to… Read More →

Bracing for ZIKA

Will Zika be the next mosquito-borne disease to capture headlines in 2016?  Or will it be the little disease that few (at least in the U.S.) have heard of?  That’s the question being debated by public health officials this year. For many years it seemed like new things happened relatively slowly in public health in Texas. In the mid 1980s entomologists reported the Asian tiger mosquito in Texas for the first time–a daytime-flying mosquito from Japan that is not shy about biting humans. Then in 2002 the first cases of west Nile virus… Read More →

What is chikungunya and why should we care?

Over 30 years ago as a graduate student taking a course in medical entomology, I learned about all kinds of diseases spread by insects.  By far, most of these were tropical and exotic-sounding.  I figured that, if I lived and worked in the U.S., my chances of encountering most of these pathogens was practically nil. Chikungunya (chik-un-GOON-ya) virus was one of those diseases I memorized way back then, and have since mostly forgotten.  The chikungunya disease was first described in 1952 during an outbreak in southern Tanzania (east Africa).  The name… Read More →