When you think of an “exotic” disease, you probably aren’t thinking of your own backyard. But America has plenty of tropical climates, almost all of which are popular vacation spots (for people both here and abroad), and they’re increasingly home to disease carrying mosquitoes.
For example, Dengue Fever is on the cusp of being a huge problem for Hawaii. Dengue causes searing pain in the eyes, head, and bones. There’s no official cure, just symptom management. And recently, 10 people came down with it while vacationing in Hawaii.
After the initial denial, they tested and found mosquitoes carrying the disease. Here’s the problem: there’s no easy eradication. Dengue is more typically an issue in densely populated cities in tropical climates where mosquitoes can spread it from infected person to infected person easily. In Hawaii, the problem isn’t crowding, it’s that it’s a place to explore. You go to be outdoors, revel in finding a hard to reach picture-perfect scene, and get as up close and personal with the flora and fauna as you are permitted. A few hardy disease-carrying mosquitoes can easily hide-out and wait for the next tourist to pass through, which is the theory behind the recent outbreak.
Factor in the numerous considerations authorities have to balance when addressing the problem: not scaring off (or putting off) tourists, which is a huge part of their economy; not harming the environment when tackling the mosquitoes, since it’s both protected and a tourism draw; realizing that tourists could also be a renewed source of outbreak if they bring it in. It’s not a problem that is quickly or easily solved, and it’s ripe to become much, much bigger.
Then, look at the history of other mosquito diseases that were once considered tropical-only, like West Nile Virus. I mean, it’s named for the Nile in Egypt, but it can now be found as far North as Canada! We all need to know about tropical diseases that mosquitoes can bring in, and at least be familiar with the symptoms.
Chik-V (Chikungunya) is another, one sneaking in through tropical Florida.
If you’re going to travel, pack insect repellant, immune support, and have a health plan in case of emergencies for wherever you’re going. (Double up on that advice if you have any chronic issues already).
Then, do your part to keep mosquitoes out of your yard by decreasing areas with still water.
Go the extra step by supporting your immune system. Every little bit helps, after all! In addition to enough rest, nutrients, and exercise, add some colloidal silver to your daily routine.
Do you take travel precautions?