|Dengue fever virus structure, showing its herringbone|
pattern. Image by Visual Science
|Typical household storage containers in rural India. Water|
left standing in vessels like this attracts mosquitos who lay
eggs. Photo, Anne Wallis, 2012.
What? The US? Europe? Didn’t we eliminate these tropical diseases? Surely, we don’t have the conditions that breed dengue? Or, do we?
Malaria, which is caused by a bacteria carried by the Anopheles mosquito, was endemic in the US until about 1950. In the 1930s, President Franklin Roosevelt invested the new Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) with the mandate of eradicating malaria in the Tennessee River Valley. Prior to this effort, malaria affected as much as 30% of the local population. In the 1940s, the US Public Health Service controlled malaria near military posts in the southern US. The National Malaria Program, constructed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in cooperation with state and local health programs, began in 1947. By the late 1940s, these coordinated efforts resulted in the elimination of the disease in the US. Regular malaria control activities continued into the 1970s.
|Rural Cary, Mississippi. Running water and electricity|
are available, but drainage and sanitation remain
sub-standard. Source: Huffington Post
|A nurse in south India counting|
larvae in a household water container
as part of Dr. Erin Reynolds'
study of chikangunya by Photo: Anne Wallis, 2012
I think it’s time to reopen the government and get back to work.