CDC reports alarming rise in flea, tick, and mosquito-related diseases

- May 1 marks the start of mosquito season in Houston and it began on the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an alarming report on diseases spread by not only mosquitoes, but ticks and fleas.

“We live in a very mobile society," said Porfirio Villarreal, Public Information Officer with Houston Public Health.

A new study out from the CDC saying those cases have tripled over the last 13 years.

“So we’re traveling all over the world. We are a big port. We have a lot of movement," said Villarreal.

Overseas travel is just one reason for the increase highlighted in this study. And in a warmer climate, like Houston’s, we’re already seeing mosquitoes.

“Our concern is Zika and West Nile," said Villarreal. 

Those are two viruses carried by mosquitoes that Houston has seen several cases of; West Nile dating back to 2001.

According to Villarreal, a fever, headache or rash is common with West Nile. If you've been bitten by a mosquito carrying Zika, red eyes and joint pain may also accompany the other symptoms.

Nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks were discovered in the U.S., according to the CDC study, and the chances of mosquitoes bringing one of those germs to Houston’s population can’t be ruled out.

"So once the warm weather comes, we want to renew those efforts," reiterated Villarreal. "Get rid of all of the trash in your yard and your pet protected, that way your pet does not come into your home with a tick or with a flea that would make you sick.”

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