Mosquitoes are not the only vectors

There is another funny thing about dengue fever.  Everyone says that mosquitoes are the “vector”. But it was not a mosquito that brought dengue fever to Hawaii.  Or transferred it from the Kona side to Puna. We are the vectors!  Do you suppose mosquitoes get splitting headaches and aching joints from the virus? Do they call it “proboscis breaker”?

Once you look at it like this, “vector control” takes on a new meaning.  You know, only about one in four(1) people who get it become sick enough that they seek medical help, but they may still be infectious.

These unknown vectors form a pool of infected people who might eventually make dengue endemic here.  So how to minimize that pool?  During this epidemic, anyone with symptoms fitting the typical dengue infection – fever, aching joints, etc – should be provided with a free medical checkup if they are uninsured.  This is cheap – a few dozen uninsured people a month at a cost of a few hundred dollars for a visit to a clinic or urgent care, and some lab tests.  Compare that with the economic impact of dengue becoming endemic.

Van

(1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26553981