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With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.

To Your Health: Mosquito-Borne Illnesses


How many mosquito bites have you already received this summer? While most of the time, mosquitos just provide us with itchy annoyance, according to the World Health Organization, of all disease-transmitting insects, the mosquito is the greatest menace, spreading malaria, dengue and yellow fever, which together are responsible for several million deaths and hundreds of millions of cases every year.

The mosquito became even more infamous recently due to it being the source of transmission of the Zika virus and the resulting microcephaly in babies born to infected mothers.

Dr. Jeffrey R. Powell,a professor at Yale University,  who investigates ways to control mosquito-borne diseases, states that we previously haven’t paid a lot of attention to the deadliness of these diseases because the types of mosquito that cause them can survive only in warmer climates, primarily in developing countries. The good news is that the attention Zika has brought  may prompt pharmaceutical companies to create medicines and vaccines that will not only help curb the transmission of Zika, but also slow the spread of other illnesses. 

Until then, prevention is key. Use EPA approved mosquito repellent, and take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home. Travelers returning to the United States from an area with Zika should take steps to prevent mosquito bites for 3 weeks so they do not spread Zika to mosquitoes that could spread the virus to other people.Special recommendations for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, as well as their partners can be found on the CDC website and at krcu.org.


Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is an assistant professor in the Department of Leadership, Middle & Secondary Education. She writes for special publications of The Southeast Missourian and is a certified Community Health Worker.
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