Experts Warn of Growing Tropical Virus Threats

Bad feeling. Sick worker has high temperature. Photo of young man in office suffering virus of flu. Medical concept.

( – According to a Newsweek December 17 report, public health experts around the world are warning that the United States isn’t prepared for the threats posed by insect-borne and tropical viruses. During a two-day workshop at the National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering, the experts noted that arboviral threats, along with mosquito-and tick-borne viruses, are currently spreading fast in non-tropical environments. The event took place in Washington, DC.

According to varoious reports, tropical diseases like dengue fever, Zika, and malaria have seen US transmissions and outbreaks over the last few years. Experts noted that climate change and increased globalization are currently allowing tropical diseases and insects to thrive in western, eastern, and southern US states. Professor emeritus at the University of California and medical entomologist Thomas Scott said that everything will get worse if “we don’t do anything.” He added that US authorities are taking no measures to solve the problem and told attendees that the damage from “inaction” is not only enormous but also unacceptable and “unethical.”

On December 15, the US National Public Radio (NPR) said that the country has lost most of its “ability” to properly track insects. The media outlet pointed out that every single state in the country used to have its own entomologist back in 1927. At the conference, medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Erin Staples said that only six states have an entomologist right now. She noted that “Reality” means that the United States can’t even monitor some of the main viruses like West Nile. She also said that the county hasn’t been able to get “great information” because it has failed to maintain its infrastructure.

Some officials have already predicted record cases of dengue fever in the United States by the end of this year. Chief Scientist for the World Health Organization Jeremy Farrar warned that the disease will start to spread into some other non-tropical regions of the world, including North America and Europe.

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