Sacramento, CA – 23 March, 2020 – The current lockdowns in place meant to curtail spread of coronavirus will not preclude the performance of essential mosquito control activities in the United States. Despite emphasis on testing and treating COVID-19 patients, we can’t lose sight of the fact that other debilitating and potentially fatal diseases transmitted by mosquitoes may also potentially infect our citizens.
“Studies have shown that factors contributing to potentially serious or fatal outcomes attendant to COVID-19 infection involve underlying medical issues, such as neurologic conditions that weaken ability to cough or an already-stressed immune system due to concurrent infection by mosquito-borne viruses,” says Joseph Conlon, Technical Advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association. Mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile virus and dengue have not disappeared as COVID-19 has usurped the media landscape. As potential contributors to severe outcomes, their prevention/control becomes even more critical. “Fortunately, mosquitoes have not been shown to transmit COVID-19” says Conlon, “However, mosquitoes can factor into the severity of the disease. Thus, it is crucial that we maintain robust measures to reduce their numbers.”
It’s important to remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus – and more as yet to reach our shores in the future. “We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry,” says Conlon. “We must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape – and this requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in the community.” It is even more critical now in light of the COVID-19 threat.
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