Dengue Virus in South Central Texas: Does it Exist?

Author: Mosquito Squad of SC Texas

There is no doubt Texas has its share of mosquitoes and then some. Knowing what those mosquitoes may or may not be carrying and what types of illnesses you are at risk of from mosquito bites might be a little more challenging. Part of the challenge stems from the fact that information is constantly changing. As temperatures change, the habits of mosquitoes change, and the illnesses we are exposed to can change with it. So therein lies the question: Are we exposed to the Dengue virus in Texas?

 

What is Dengue?

First a quick lesson on what it is. Dengue is a virus that is spread to humans through the bite of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same species of mosquitoes that spread Zika and chikungunya. Only 1 in 4 people infected from the virus will actually show any signs, but it is possible to become very sick. The basic symptoms, which usually last about a week, include nausea, vomiting, rash, and pains. Severe symptoms, which appear in about 1 of 20 people that contract Dengue, can include shock, internal bleeding, and death. There is no actual treatment for Dengue only treatment for the symptoms. The main things that doctors focus on when treating Dengue patients are relieving the pain and keeping them hydrated.

 

Is There Dengue in Texas?

Now to address the main question… the answer is YES. The CDC map for cases of Dengue in the United States in 2019 shows 4 in the state of Texas. Each of these cases is travel related.

 

What does that mean? It means that someone got sick somewhere else and brought the illness home with them. It also means that there is potential for spreading. Just the same way that a mosquito gives you a virus it can also take the virus from you and spread it to someone else.

 

This is where the constant change of information comes in. Just because we didn’t have a mosquito-borne illness somewhere last year doesn’t mean that it can’t end up here this year. A recent study published in the journal Nature Microbiology predicted a great expansion of the Dengue virus all over the globe, including a large part of the Southern United States and most of Texas. The study estimates that by 2080 over 2 billion more people could be at risk for contracting Dengue than are at risk today...2 Billion. Warming temperatures are mostly to blame. Not only does a warmer overall climate create more spaces where mosquitoes can thrive, but it also makes the time that it takes for mosquitoes to go from larvae to biting adult quicker. One type of mosquito that carries the illness is more prevalent in cities so constant urbanization is also a leading factor in these projections.

 

While projections are only well… projections, they are simple yet important reminders to stay protected. Mosquitoes are more than just annoying little pests. They can be carriers of dangerous and deadly diseases. That makes terribly important for each person to do their part in helping to eliminate the mosquito population. Mosquito Squad can make that easy for you. Call Mosquito Squad of South Central Texas today and do your part by letting us eliminate up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property.