Aedes aegypti mosquito has a long history in the Western hemisphere as well as the rest of the world. This mosquito has created problems throughout the globe. It was most likely brought to new countries on exploration ships from Europe during the time of European colonization of Africa. Yellow fever, a viral infection that is transmitted by Aedes aegypti, caused more deaths in the U.S. troops during the Spanish-American War in 1898 than enemy soldiers (University of Florida, 2008). For more information about the demographics of Aedes aegypti, visit our Habitat page.

    Not only is Aedes aegypti found in only the western hemisphere, but it is also common in other continents as well. Yellow fever is regularly found in many African countries as well as some South American countries. Yellow fever causes around thirty thousand deaths every year (World Health Organization, 2003). The yellow fever vaccination reduced the number of cases and deaths. South America reports about five hundred cases every year. Many of these are men who work in forested areas. Approximately twenty percent of people affected with a severe condition of yellow fever pass away due to the disease (Center of Disease Control and Prevention, 2002).  Not only is Aedes aegypti a vector for yellow fever but the dengue virus as well.  There are more human deaths caused by dengue virus than any other disease that is carried by an arthropod vector.  The fatality rate for this disease is one to five percent (Harrington et al., 2001)

    Because of the outbreaks of the detrimental dengue and yellow fever viruses, many different eradication programs were being put into play around the world. These programs started in mid-1900s. Countries did this through mosquito control and educating citizens of precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent mosquito reproduction. The failure of citizens to stay committed and fund the programs made this eradication system fail and the mosquito population quickly bounced back to its previous range. The Pan American Health Organization came up with an eradication program in 1947 for putting an end to yellow fever cases. In 1965, there were nineteen countries that had fulfilled the program. These countries were free from Aedes aegypti for a short amount of time but, the mosquitoes came back into North and South Americas and expanding its range as it came back.

     Although insecticides work, they only continue to be funcional until there is a resistance.  Doses of malathion, an organophospate insecticide, were used for control until resistance to the pesticide was developed and it was unable to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito on host. populations of the mosquitoes (University of Florida, 2008). After 45 generations that were exposed to malathion, Aedes aegypti created a high resistance to this insecticide (Hidayati et al., 2011). They have adapted to the environment making them quick to recover from disturbances due to natural phenomena or human interactions.  To learn more about eradication programs, visit the Control page.  Eradication programs aren't the only opportunity for controlling the spread of diseases.  Researchers are using experiments to understand the diseases to attempt to shut down the virus.  One experiment showed that mosquitoes with engineered RNA, called Carb77, displayed a high resistance to type 2 of the dengue virus.  Carb77 breaks down the viral envelope which can stop the virus from replicating and help control the spread of this strain (Franz et al., 2006).

    It is important for the nation to know about current cases of yellow fever or dengue in the country to prevent outbreaks. According to Article 4 of the International Health Regulations of 1969, whenever there is a case of yellow fever, the administration needs to notify the World Health Organization immediately. With knowledge of the transmission, it has been made essential for measures to be taken around the perimeter of ports and airports to eradicate any stage of Aedes aegypti (World Health Organization, 1983). This enforcement is stated in Article 19 of the International Health Regulations of 1969.

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