CDC: Illnesses from mosquito, tick and flea bites have tripled since 2004

FILE Ñ Aedes aegypti mosquitoes a breed that carries the Zika virus at the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionÕs Lab in San Juan Puerto Rico Feb. 24 2016. The number of people who get diseases transmitted by mosquito tick and flea bites has

And the germs that have been discovered in recent years also add to the number of reported vector-borne diseases in the United States, the CDC said.

Diseases transmitted by ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes are becoming more unsafe and far more numerous: Between 2004 and 2016, they tripled to almost 650,000 cases, a new CDC report finds.

Between 2004 and 2016, about 643,000 cases of 16 insect-borne illnesses were reported to the CDC - 27,000 a year in 2004, rising to 96,000 by 2016.

The CDC said local public health departments need to do more to control mosquito, tick and flea populations.

Redfield, MD, said the growing public health problem will only worsen without "major improvement" in how local, state, and federal levels work together to track, report, and control the diseases. In my home state of Rhode Island, where winters have gotten warmer and shorter, these tiny, sesame seed-sized insects have more time to bite humans and spread Lyme disease.

After looking at data reported to the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), the researchers found that tick-borne diseases made up over 75% of reports.

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Other factors leading to the spread of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika include global travel, the CDC said.

"Zika, West Nile, Lyme and chikungunya - a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick or flea - have confronted the United States in recent years, making a lot of people sick", CDC chief Robert Redfield said.

"It enables these ticks to expand to new areas".

There are several factors behind the increase in these diseases, the researchers said.

These diseases are found throughout the US and are resistant to control.

"Lyme patients are treated in an outpatient setting, so outpatient disease is underreported to a certain extent", Petersen said, but added that even though all the cases are not reported, it's not necessary that every case is counted.

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The most common mosquito-borne viruses are West Nile, dengue, and Zika, while the most common disease resulting from the bite of an infected flea is the plague. In fact, tick-borne diseases actually doubled over the course of the 13-year time period, with Lyme disease accounting for the majority of those infections. "For tick-borne disease, increasing temperatures will tend to expand the range of these ticks farther north as well as increasing the length of tick season".

In the time period covered by the study, nine new diseases showed up in the United States, including seven carried by ticks, and Zika and chikungunya, which are carried by mosquitoes.

"Zika funding helped prepare us for these types of diseases, but more funding is necessary", he said.

"The pace of emergence of new or obscure vector-borne pathogens through introduction or belated recognition appears to be increasing", the report said. "And we don't know what will threaten Americans next", said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D.

In a 2017 report from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, an organization representing 500,000 clinical practitioners aimed at taking action against climate change, Damle shared that over the past five years, his practice has seen a significant rise in tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease and other infections.

People with pets should regularly inspect the animals to make sure they aren't carrying ticks that can be brought indoors, Glatter said.

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