As Florida Battles Aedes Aegypti, Yellow Fever is the Next Big Concern


With ongoing Zika cases, Florida officials have been doing their best to limit the spread of Zika by killing off the mosquito that carries it and other tropical illnesses like Dengue, Chik-V, and Yellow Fever. While they are claiming success for their efforts spraying from trucks, the truth is Aedes aegypti likes to live indoors, and the slow down on Zika cases is probably due to lack of symptoms, not infections.

The good news/bad news: there’s a large Yellow Fever outbreak in South America, and now that Florida carries Aedes aegypti, travelers could bring in Yellow Fever, adding it to Florida’s Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. (Sort of) fortunately, symptoms of Yellow Fever are much more severe and infected persons are lesson likely to travel.

But all tropical illnesses should be on the minds of anyone in Florida.

What makes Aedes aegypti successful is lives indoors—preferably in an unairconditioned bedroom where it can bite you all day long. Spraying from trucks to kill mosquitoes is better suited for the mosquitoes that carry West Nile, which need larger reservoirs of water to breed, are only active at certain times of day, and live outside.
Zika could be misleading about the number of people infected. The average healthy adult wouldn’t notice symptoms (although studies showing the impact on the brain is large enough it’s probably bad news for memory and more), it’s more kids and people with weakened immune systems who are most affected. PSAs warning parents about the risks of infants and microcephaly (and even older kids and slowed or stopped brain development) has probably had a larger impact than their truck spraying.

Anyone worried about Aedes aegypti needs to be on the front line of fighting it: if you’re in an area that can carry Aedes aegypti, choose a non-toxic mosquito killer for your home and crank the AC if you have it. Pay attention both to announced outbreaks/infections, and local events (like festivals or holidays that attract tourists from outside the country). Keep your immune system strong with basics like enough sleep, nutrition, etc., and give your immune system a boost with colloidal silver.

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