Due to our inability to predict which virus will be responsible for the spread of infection, science has yet to come up with a medication for preventing some mosquito-borne viruses.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could predict the trend of viruses, which spread mosquito-borne illnesses, like Dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus? Scientists say that if we had this capability, they might be closer to finding ways to prevent the spread of potentially fatal diseases caused by simple mosquito bites. This lack of understanding is one of the reasons that mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on the planet.
Is there new hope on the horizon for even better mosquito-borne virus prevention?
In 2020, UK scientists discovered a possible breakthrough in preventing mosquito viruses. The thing about mosquito bites, is that there is not simply one cause-and-effect. When we are bitten by mosquitoes, our skin is directly injured. This injury, albeit small, triggers an immune response for our skin to begin healing itself. Our bodies do not alert our virus-fighting immune system to step up. For this reason, the viruses passed by mosquitoes are a step ahead of our body's immune response, and there is literally no stopping it. But UK scientists recently had an idea. What if there was a topical cream, that when applied, triggered our bodies to fight viral infections? There already is one, actually!
Will this topical cream work to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases?
For this study, scientists took an anti-viral topical cream containing Imiquimod, which is an existing prescription, recommended for various skin conditions, including warts and some types of skin cancer. With 16 human skin samples from volunteers, these scientists got to work. They infected the samples with one of two types of mosquito-borne illnesses - Zika and chikungunya virus. Half of the 16 skin samples were treated with the topical cream one hour after infection, and the results were stunning. The Zika samples showed 70 times less evidence of the virus in the skin. The chikungunya samples show 600 times less evidence of virus in the skin.
What type of protection is available now? Wellesley mosquito control is the answer.
Even though this topical medication is readily available, and has shown to be tolerated well, more research will be necessary to determine if it is safe enough for routine use to prevent mosquito-borne viruses. If ever deemed safe, we could have an effective and relatively inexpensive treatment available in due time. But experts point out, “If we can repurpose this cream into an antiviral treatment option, it could be a useful addition to mosquito repellant as a way of avoiding infection.”
To help prevent mosquito-borne diseases, we must employ every resource to protect our families from the threat of mosquito bites. Choose Mosquito Squad’s Wellesley mosquito control barrier protection to help allay the threat of mosquito bites, which could result in debilitating mosquito-borne illnesses. Call us today at (978) 234-2367.
If you are experiencing illness after a known mosquito bite, consult your physician.