I was at the CDC today. Yep, that CDC and it was entomologically awesome! It was more of a meet and greet and tour than hard core, in-depth science, but it was still great. It was cool to see the response capabilities and I got to tour the insectary. So in that (wing) vein, my friday favorites are all
sucky sucking insects:
- Mosquitoes and Zika – the CDC continues to work on the science, the control, and the monitoring of the disease. There’s been a slowdown in the number of cases, mostly due to it being cooler in much of the country, but there’s still plenty to work on. Not to mention all the other diseases that mosquitoes can carry. One terrible thing I learned is that some people are holding “Zika parties” and going to Zika infested areas to purposely get Zika to “innoculate” themselves. DON’T DO IT PEOPLE!!!
- Kissing bugs and Chagas – remember a couple years ago when Chagas disease made the news because cases were being discovered in the US? Yep, still on the radar. The CDC calls Chagas “one of the neglected parasitic infections”. Their insectary is rearing a number of kissing bug species.
- Ticks and Lyme disease – this is a big one with around 300,000 cases reported each year. That’s just the reported cases and the CDC estimates there are lots more undiagnosed and/or unreported cases. I was listening to a report the other day that says along with chemical options, a novel inoculant for rodents, and preventative measures (wear your bugspray damnit!), scientists are now looking at CRISPR techniques on the rodents to combat the disease.
And that’s just a small piece of what they are doing at the center. The CDC also has a museum that if you are ever in the Atlanta area, I encourage you to visit. I need to fly out of here like a mosquito looking for a warm body, so have an entomologically awesome weekend!