Illnesses on the rise | VitalSigns

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Although the incidence of vector-borne diseases rose steadily since 2004, 2016 experienced a huge spike in mosquito-borne disease compared to previous years because of the appearance of Zika, with 41,680 cases alone that year.

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.

"It enables these ticks to expand to new areas". "And we don't know what will threaten Americans next". Unlike tick-borne diseases, which are not infectious, mosquito-borne diseases are. The data doesn't predict disease risk, just case counts. The actual burden is thought to be "substantially higher", researchers wrote.

"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 U.S.in recent years, making a lot of people sick", CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement.

There were nine vector-borne human diseases that were reported for the first time in the USA from 2004 to 2016. This includes a doubling of diseases transmitted by ticks, which in turn accounted for 60 percent of all vector-borne diseases, he said.

Infections in 2016 went up 73 percent from 2015, reflecting the emergence of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects.

The report, released Tuesday, shows that the number of reported cases of these diseases jumped from 27,388 cases in 2004 to more than 96,000 cases in 2016.

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More than 642,000 cases of the illnesses were reported during the 13 years studied in the Vital Signs report by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Environmental factors, such as rainfall and temperature, also affect the breeding and biting habits of these many different species.

Nathan Nieto, a biologist at Northern Arizona University who studies vector-borne pathogens, is available to discuss the CDC report on the increase in infections submitted by insects.

"Many of these diseases are sensitive to temperatures", Dr. Peterson said.

"The mosquito-borne diseases tend to get worse during heat waves".

As temperatures rise, ticks that carry infections can spread further north and can remain infectious longer into fall and winter, Petersen said.

The number of vector-borne illnesses in the USA tripled from 2004 to 2016, rising to almost 650,000 cases.

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Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets.

Redfield said the growing burden of vector-borne disease has increased the demand on these organizations and said the CDC must continue to support and enhance their ability to combat them.

"First, we're working to expand the number of effective and publicly accepted mosquito prevention and control options".

Although state and local health departments get brief infusions of cash during scares like the 2016 Zika epidemic, they are chronically underfunded.

Commenting on the CDC report, Paul Auwaerter, president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, called for more research money for diagnostics, vaccines and treatments for Zika, Lyme disease, and other serious vector-borne diseases.

Several factors are likely behind the increase, researchers said.

For their study, CDC scientists analyzed reports of 16 insect-borne diseases logged to the U.S. National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System between 2004 and 2016.

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