There’s a reason most homeowners will usually invest in pest control: insects bring diseases into the household. While most insects in the United States’ temperate regions don’t necessarily carry that many diseases, mosquitoes and other insects in the humid areas can be dangerous, especially if they have dengue.
This disease is known for being one of the more serious illnesses that have affected millions of individuals each year while causing thousands of deaths in tropical countries that don’t have access to necessary medication. But cases in the United States and other colder regions are not entirely unheard of. In fact, the Pan American Health Organization reports that there are around 2,245,733 suspected cases of dengue, with about 982 deaths in the Americas (North, Central, and South America).
Luckily, this number isn’t as high as the figures recorded back in 2019. Although most would say that this is because many healthcare practitioners are focusing on the current COVID-19 pandemic rather than monitoring for vector diseases. But now that “normal” life is coming back, we can now start addressing other types of conditions while keeping ourselves safe.
So what are some important ways of preventing dengue? What are some other vector diseases that we should be concerned about? Here’s what you’ll need to know.
What Is Dengue, and What Causes It?
Dengue is a disease that’s caused by a virus. This pathogen is transmitted through bites from mosquitoes, which could easily spread if left unchecked. In most cases, this is known for being a self-limiting disease. However, it’s still a cause for concern, especially when dengue can become very severe.
Serious conditions can often lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can cause severe damage to the circulatory system. This condition is characterized by bleeding, a sudden drop of platelet count, and dengue shock. Dengue shock is known for having a high mortality rate.
In tropical countries, like the Philippines, hundreds of thousands of cases were reported in 2019. Much of the spike has been attributed to storms and flooding. Although first-world countries like the United States are well-equipped to handle such diseases, most developing countries still have serious health problems caused by dengue.
Addressing the Sources of These Diseases
It’s important to note that there’s more than one “strain” of the dengue virus. DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4 have known strains that belong to a particular genus of mosquitoes.
Unlike certain types of viruses that can be transmitted through the air or direct contact between infected individuals, dengue’s primary mode of transmission is bites from infected mosquitoes. More specifically, Aedes aegypti is the species that most homeowners will need to look out for.
When an individual is bitten, the pathogen will spread through the bloodstream into different core organs of the body. If a mosquito bites an infected individual, that mosquito can also become infected.
One of the best ways of addressing malaria, dengue, and other vector-borne diseases spread by mosquitoes is by directly addressing its source. Typically, mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. This is one reason most homeowners and engineers focus on their drainage and gutter systems since this will help redirect water off the roof and into appropriate drains.
Trapped pooled water won’t just cause problems to your home’s structure, but this can become a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes. Having an operation gutter system can mitigate this from happening. Still, it’s important to remember that installing a gutter system will take a reasonable degree of skill and professional supervision. Fortunately, gutter installation services can help you set up a functioning gutter and drainage system. It’s also important to note that stagnant water can also pool in different areas, like garden ornaments. If it does rain in your area, you might want to spill water containers that can become potential breeding grounds.
Some pest control services will also use smoke as a means of flushing out nests. But other than making renovations to your home’s structure, another way of preventing the disease is by using long-sleeved clothing and applying mosquito repellants on your skin. This can help deter mosquitoes that have white stripes.
Although this type of disease might not be as prevalent as other types of vector-borne conditions, it’s still a significant health problem across many countries. Although the cases are low in first-world countries, that doesn’t mean that it can’t happen to anyone. Now that spring and summer are fast approaching, the increase in humidity and ambient temperatures can lead to more mosquito breeding. That said, prevention is better than having to medicate yourself from a severe disease.