"The damage from inaction is enormous" — Rising threat of Asian Tiger Mosquito across the US

A mosquito species that arrived in the United States in the 1970s as stowaways in used tires is slowly making its way across the continent, spreading dengue, West Nile virus, Zika, chikungunya, and even malaria. According to experts who attended this week's workshop on mosquito-borne illnesses at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., the country is woefully unprepared for the threat of Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito.

From NPR:

"If we don't do anything, which is basically what we're doing right now, it's going to get worse," Tom Scott, a medical entomologist and professor emeritus at UC Davis, said during the workshop. "The damage from inaction is enormous, it's unacceptable. It's unethical."

The workshop focused on arboviral threats, which are mosquito- and tick-borne viruses that can cause harm to humans.

Tropical diseases that were once considered far away from the U.S. are becoming a presence. This year, the U.S. saw locally transmitted cases of malaria and a skin disease from tropical parasites. A Zika outbreak occurred in Florida and Texas in 2016-2017 and dengue has spread locally in the U.S. every year for over a decade.In te

I've written about my own efforts to repel Asian Tiger mosquitos (and relieve the itching from their bites) in recent issues of my newsletter, The Magnet.