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Genetic Tweaks in Mosquitoes Might Curb Malaria Transmission

Posted 29 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – Two new methods of genetic modification may reduce the risk of mosquitoes spreading the infectious disease malaria to people, researchers report. Malaria kills more than 400,000 people worldwide each year. It's a disease that's transmitted by mosquitoes to people. The majority of those who die from the disease are children aged 5 and under in sub-Saharan Africa. The first of the two new approaches came from a study team led by Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena. He's a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The researchers used a strain of bacteria that can spread rapidly in mosquitoes. The bacteria can also remain long-term in malaria-carrying mosquitoes. A genetically modified version of the bacteria inhibits development of the malaria parasite. That means the chances that the mosquitoes can transmit these parasites to people are ... Read more

Related support groups: Doxycycline, Plaquenil, Hydroxychloroquine, Malaria, Quinine, Malarone, Doryx, Malaria Prevention, Oracea, Monodox, Chloroquine, Mefloquine, Doxy Lemmon, Vibramycin, Lariam, Adoxa, Insect Bites, Malaria Prophylaxis, Doxy 100, Qualaquin

Don't Let the Tick Stick

Posted 24 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Sept. 24, 2017 – As tick populations and the threats they pose increase across the United States, people need to know how to deal with them, a skin doctor suggests. Ticks can cause serious illnesses such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Powassan virus and alpha-gal syndrome (a red meat allergy). "Although most ticks do not carry disease, it's important to be mindful of these risks and keep an eye out while you're outdoors," Dr. Lindsay Strowd said in an American Academy of Dermatology news release. Strowd recommended doing a full-body check after you come inside from a wooded area. She also advised checking kids, pets and any gear you had with you. "If you notice a tick crawling on you or attached to your skin, remove it immediately to prevent any potential infection," Strowd advised. She's an assistant professor of dermatology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Diethyltoluamide

Sound the Mosquito Alarm, Across the USA

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – Two species of disease-transmitting mosquitoes could likely flourish in most of the United States, government researchers report. Specifically, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus could survive and reproduce for at least part of the year in three-quarters of the counties in the lower 48 states if introduced there, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These two species can transmit viruses that cause Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. The range where Aedes aegypti could survive includes much of the eastern United States south of the Great Lakes, as well as parts of several southwestern states. The range where Aedes albopictus could survive extends farther into the northeast but is more limited in the southwest. The study and accompanying maps were published online Sept. 21 in the Journal of Medical ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Yellow Fever Prophylaxis, Chikungunya Virus Infection, Zika Virus Infection, Dengue Fever, Diethyltoluamide

Beat Back Mosquitos After Hurricane Irma

Posted 18 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2017 – As if those who weathered Hurricanes Irma and Harvey don't have enough to worry about, one bug expert warns that the standing water left behind is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. Residents need to drain birdbaths, pots and anything else in their yards that can provide egg-laying sites for the disease-carrying insects. "No container is too small to empty," Phil Kaufman, an entomology professor at the University of Florida, said in a university news release. Mosquito species that lay eggs in standing water in containers include those that transmit Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. Kaufman also recommended using mosquito briquettes to kill immature mosquitoes. The briquettes are available at many stores. When you go outside to empty containers or do yard cleanup, you should apply insect repellent (preferably with DEET) and wear light-colored ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Apply Bug Spray Properly

Posted 14 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Keeping you and your kids itch-free by applying bug repellant can also keep away nasty mosquito-borne diseases, such as Zika and West Nile. Here's how to apply bug spray properly, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says: Follow the product label's instructions carefully. Do not apply bug spray to the eyes, nose or mouth. Put repellant on your own hands, then apply to a child's face and neck. Don't use bug spray on an open wound or irritated skin. Don't use bug spray on babies who are less than 2 months old. Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Preventing Tick Bites

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

-- A bite from an infected tick can cause a number of ills, including Lyme disease. But taking precautions before going outside can help protect you. Here are suggestions from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Know where ticks are likely to gather, and try to avoid them. Steer clear of tall, thick vegetation. Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and spray clothing with .5 percent permethrin insect repellent. Use repellent that contains at least 20 percent DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on any uncovered skin. Check yourself and your children for ticks daily. Favorite hiding spots include the armpits, ears, belly button, waist, head, hair, between the legs and behind the knees. If you find a tick, remove it quickly with fine-tipped tweezers. Look for warning signs of Lyme disease, such as rash or fever. Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Elimite, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Nix, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyclear, Diethyltoluamide, Lice Solution, Lice Bedding Spray, Nix Cream Rinse, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker

Health Tip: Keep Mosquitos Out of Your Yard

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

-- In addition to being a nuisance and a source of itch, mosquitos can carry a host of serious diseases, including Zika and West Nile. So how do you rid them from your yard? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests: Every week, empty and clean any outside containers that may hold water. These may include trash cans, bird baths or planters. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. If your outside container doesn't have a lid, cover with a wire mesh. Make sure the mesh is smaller than the size of an adult mosquito. If you have a large container that you can't empty, treat it with larvicide (but don't let any person or pet drink the water). Repair any cracks or holes in your septic tank, and cover any plumbing or vent pipes with fine wire mesh. Apply insecticide in your yard. Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

For a Fun and Safe Tropical Getaway, Plan Ahead

Posted 17 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 17, 2017 – If you're planning a tropical getaway, be sure to pack old standbys like bug spray and sunscreen – and maybe a lot more, a doctor advises. "In places like the Caribbean and South and Central America, where it is already summertime, people can potentially be exposed to health risks that they may not have at home," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Christopher Ohl. He is head of the International Travel Clinic at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C. In the Caribbean and Central America, you can get sunburned in as little as 10 minutes. Wear sunscreen and a T-shirt or cover-up during the middle of the day when the sun is strongest, Ohl advised in a center news release. Be especially careful on the beach or at poolside where the water reflects sunlight. Also, be careful about what you eat and drink to reduce the risk of diarrhea. Safest ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Provera, Mirena, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Implanon, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Loestrin 24 Fe, Plan B One-Step, Ortho Evra, Lutera, TriNessa, Mononessa, Ortho Tri-Cyclen Lo, Yaz

Drought May Beckon Bigger West Nile Outbreaks

Posted 8 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 8, 2017 – A parched climate might be the perfect environment for spreading West Nile virus, a new study suggests. Researchers examined 15 years of data on West Nile virus infections in people across the United States and found that epidemics were larger during years of drought. There were also bigger outbreaks in areas that had not experienced large epidemics of the mosquito-borne virus in the past. "We found that drought was the dominant weather variable correlated with the size of West Nile virus epidemics," study author Sara Paull, formerly a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz, said in a university news release. She is now at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. West Nile first appeared in North America in 1999, and since then has caused outbreaks each summer. But there has been significant variation in the severity of those ... Read more

Related support groups: Viral Infection, West Nile Virus, Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Choosing a Pest Control Service

Posted 23 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

-- Pests are a nuisance and may be a health hazard. But you're not doing your family any favors by using toxic chemicals inappropriately. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends: Get estimates from several recommended companies in your area. Ask questions about their processes. Ask how long each company has been in business at the current location, and check to see if there have been complaints filed against the company. Request a list of references. Ensure that technicians are licensed and certified to use pesticides correctly. Request a copy of pesticide labels and how much is applied during treatment. Read more

Related support groups: Poisoning, Insect Bites, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Diethyltoluamide

Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Confirmed in Eastern National Parks

Posted 17 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17, 2017 – Planning a hiking trip in an eastern U.S. national park? Better pack tick repellent – a new study found these parks are home to ticks that carry Lyme disease. Blacklegged ticks – also known as deer ticks – carrying Lyme disease were found in nine national parks: Acadia National Park in Maine; Catoctin Mountain Park and Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland; Fire Island National Seashore in Long Island, N.Y.; Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania; Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C., and Manassas National Battlefield Park, Prince William Forest Park and Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. This is the first time researchers have confirmed that the ticks are living at the parks, although it's long been suspected that the ticks were there because of human Lyme disease infections. "We know Lyme disease is increasing both in numbers of infections ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Elimite, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Nix, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyclear, Diethyltoluamide, Lice Solution, Lice Bedding Spray, Nix Cream Rinse, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker

DEET Repellents Safe in Pregnancy to Prevent Zika, Researchers Say

Posted 11 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 – DEET insect repellents won't harm a pregnant woman or her fetus when used as instructed to prevent infection with the Zika virus, a new research analysis suggests. Exposure to the mosquito-transmitted virus during pregnancy can cause devastating birth defects, including microcephaly, which results in abnormally small heads and brains. Because of this, recommendations to mothers-to-be include protecting themselves from mosquito bites by using products containing DEET in areas where Zika is circulating. But some women worry that the repellents themselves might pose a toxic threat to an unborn child. Not so, say the authors of a new research review. "Given what we know about both Zika and DEET, the evidence overwhelmingly favors use of DEET-containing products," said Dr. Blair Wylie, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School's division of maternal-fetal ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Hydrocephalus, Viral Infection, Insect Bites, Brain Anomalies incl Congenital, Zika Virus Infection, Diethyltoluamide

How to Keep Bug Bites at Bay

Posted 24 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, July 23, 2016 – Bug bites can make you more than itchy. Ticks, mosquitoes and certain flies are known to spread some nasty diseases. But U.S. health experts say there are ways to keep pesky insects in their place. One of the best ways to prevent bug bites is to use an insect repellent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends insect repellents that contain at least 20 percent DEET. These products (which include Cutter Backwoods and Off! Deep Woods) offer protection against mosquitoes, ticks and other bugs. It's unclear how effective natural insect repellents are in preventing bug bites, the CDC said. The agency says other repellents that may only protect against mosquitoes include: Picaridin, which is also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin (products include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus). Oil of lemon ... Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

Health Tip: Avoiding Insect Stings

Posted 29 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

-- Mosquito bites may be an itchy nuisance, but allergic reactions to the bites of other bugs can make them downright dangerous. To minimize bug bites, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggests: Hiring an exterminator to get rid of nests around your home. Keep calm, and slowly move away if you spot a stinging insect. Don't wear perfume or clothing with bright colors when you're spending time outdoors. Insects might otherwise mistake you for a flower. Keep drinks and sweet foods covered outdoors. Always wear shoes with a closed toe to make sure you don't get stung if you step on an insect. Make sure clothes fit snugly so a stinging insect doesn't get between your skin and clothing. Read more

Related support groups: Insect Bites, Diethyltoluamide

7 Ways to Give Ticks the Slip

Posted 22 May 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 22, 2016 – While only a few tick species infect people with diseases, the rising popularity of many outdoor activities and the spread of residential developments has upped the odds that one of those creepy parasites might latch on to you. "Luckily, ticks don't fly, jump or fall from the sky," vector-borne disease expert Stephen Wikel said. He's a professor emeritus of medical sciences at Quinnipiac University's Frank H. Netter M.D. School of Medicine, in North Haven, Conn. "They generally move from grass to a living host, and crawl upwards, looking for a warm, moist area to feed. Ticks also have incredible anti-detection defenses. For example, their saliva is loaded with antihistamines, anticoagulants and other inhibitors that prevent wound healing, and dampen pain and itch responses; unfed nymphs are so small, they can be mistaken for freckles," he said. So, how can you ... Read more

Related support groups: Lyme Disease, Permethrin, Lyme Disease - Neurologic, Lyme Disease - Arthritis, Insect Bites, Lyme Disease - Erythema Chronicum Migrans, Elimite, Nix, Lyme Disease - Carditis, Nix Lice Control, Acticin, Lyclear, Permethrin/Piperonyl Butoxide/Pyrethrins, Lice Bedding Spray, Nix Cream Rinse, Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccination, Pyrifoam Lice Breaker, Diethyltoluamide, Lice Solution

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