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HomeGeneralHealth Officials Demand Urgent Action as U.S. Faces Growing Disease Threats 

Health Officials Demand Urgent Action as U.S. Faces Growing Disease Threats 

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A Mosquito
Source: Euro_2023/X

If things remain the same, the U.S. will suffer a devastating onslaught of diseases, health officials have warned. This warning was given at a recent meeting of health stakeholders and experts in the United States. 

In a Washington, D.C., event that hosted health experts from around the world, the United States took quite a beating. The country’s deficiency in disease prevention has become a global worry. Scientists expressed fear that mosquitoes are quickly gaining the upper hand in the fight against the spread of disease. 

Health professionals expressed this worry during a two-day National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine workshop. Experts at the event spoke about the need for nations like the U.S. to be more prepared to combat the advancing threat of mosquito-carrying diseases. 

Mosquitoes invaded the United States in the 70s and 80s during the used tire trade era. These insects hid themselves in thousands of these rubber export commodities. These mosquitoes were loaded with viruses such as Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, waiting for the right time to strike. 

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They did on multiple occasions, notable among which was the 2016-2017 Zika outbreak in Florida and Texas. Right now, terrifying signs of disease outbreaks are beginning to emerge. There has been an increase in the spread of dengue every year for the past ten years. 

Cases of malaria and mosquito-related skin diseases are also on the rise. The problem is, is the United States capable of warding off such attacks? Scientists believe that the answer is a resounding “No!” Plus, the country doesn’t seem to be doing anything about it. 

“If we don’t do anything, which is basically what we’re doing right now, it’s going to get worse,” says Tim Scott of UC Davis. The Professor Emeritus and medical entomologist is seriously worried. “The damage from inaction is enormous, it’s unacceptable. It’s unethical,” he complained. 

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The workshop brought together some of the leading researchers in the field of engineering and medicine. The focus of this workshop edition was arboviral threats, which are viruses of ticks and mosquitoes that are harmful to humans. 

Laura Kramer, the director of the Arbovirus Laboratory at the State University of New York at Albany, also voiced her concerns. “We don’t pay enough attention in the United States to what is happening in other countries,” she said. “We just kind of watch it spread, and we don’t prepare ourselves for that virus potentially coming to the U.S.” 

As Global warming increases mosquito breeding and population, there is a need for urgent action. Experts advise that the United States take a cue from countries like Singapore, which have implemented robust preventive and remedial policies. 

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Singapore has put advanced surveillance systems in place to track the spread of dengue. The system will also alert citizens when it notices a spike in cases. 

The U.S. can also copy Singapore’s earth-friendly mosquito-combating policies, such as removing stagnant water, planting plants that chase mosquitoes away, and filling up depressions on the ground. 

Singapore also puts its citizens in check through laws that impose fines and jail terms for harboring mosquito breeding sites at home. 

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