Terminix®, the leading provider of termite and pest control services in the United States, today warned of two serious mosquito-borne diseases which are being reported in Florida. The Florida Department of Health this week issued a report confirming 18 cases of chikungunya virus and 24 cases of dengue fever. In all confirmed cases, the individual had traveled to the Caribbean or South America, where outbreaks number in the thousands. The imminent threat is that, upon their return to the U.S., individuals carrying these diseases may be bitten by mosquitoes that then spread the diseases within Florida and throughout the southeastern United States.
"A mosquito that bites an infected individual will go through a 10-14 day extrinsic incubation period during which time the virus replicates in the mosquito," said Dr. Stan Cope, entomologist for Terminix. "After the incubation period, that infected mosquito can spread the virus through a bite to numerous individuals."
The two primary mosquitoes that transmit these viruses are the Asian Tiger mosquito and the Yellow Fever mosquito, both of which occur throughout Florida and much of the United States.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising).
Throughout the world, mosquitoes transmit other devastating viruses to humans such as West Nile and yellow fever. According to the CDC, more than 1 million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne diseases every year. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported that, worldwide, mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal on Earth—including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, and even humans, combined. In the United States, West Nile virus has been reported in every mainland state since first being detected in 1999.
This spring, Terminix introduced a new eco-friendly mosquito service that's now available at its more than 300 branches throughout the country. Unlike mosquito control products that simply repel, the active ingredient in the Terminix solution kills more than 90 percent of mosquitoes within the three weeks following each application in areas surrounding a customer's home or business. The mosquito service is available as an annual contract with monthly service applications made by a Terminix professional during the designated mosquito season based on the customer's locale. Pricing is based on a customer's geographic location and size of the treated area.