|[August 11, 2014]
National Pest Management Association Urges Americans to Protect against Mosquito and Tick-Borne Disease
FAIRFAX, Va. --(Business Wire)--
Less than a quarter (22%) of Americans purchase insect repellent to
protect themselves and/or their families from vector-borne disease such
as West Nile virus and Lyme disease according to a survey conducted
online within the U.S. by Harris Poll on behalf of the National
Pest Management Association (NPMA) in July 2014 among over 2,000
U.S. adults ages 18+. As the summer and peak season for interaction with
these pests continues, the NPMA reminds the public that insect repellent
is vital in protecting against the health risks associated with
mosquitoes and ticks.
Although West Nile virus, Dengue fever, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain
spotted fever and many other vector-borne diseases have been present in
the U.S. for several years, others have emerged more recently. Chikungunya,
a virus that is new to the U.S., is transmitted by mosquitoes and was
found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean in
late 2013. The first locally acquired cases of the virus were reported
in Florida in July 2014, and it has since ben reported in at least 37
states. All vector-borne diseases are transmitted when a mosquito or
tick bites and feeds on the blood of its host, making it critical for
steps to be taken to avoid being bitten in the first place.
"In recent years the use of sunscreen has become habitual for the
majority of Americans and their families who spend time outdoors during
the summer months," said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public
affairs for NPMA. "We hope the public will begin to recognize the
application of insect repellent as another critical tool in protecting
their families' health. As a rule, insect repellent should always be
applied on top of sunscreen, and reapplied every four to six hours."
The survey also found that only 54 percent of Americans who report
purchasing insect repellent check the bottle to ensure it contains at
least one of four essential ingredients. "When buying insect repellent
always select one containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or
IR3535," said Dr. Jorge Parada, medical advisor for the NPMA.
"Vector-borne diseases are a growing concern in the U.S., so it is
essential that we understand how to protect ourselves and recognize the
signs and symptoms of these diseases."
Lyme disease: Common early symptoms include a bull's-eye
rash anywhere on the body, joint pain, chills, fever, fatigue and
West Nile virus: Symptoms could include fever, headache
and loss of appetite, although in 80 percent of cases, people may
display little to no symptoms at all.
Chikungunya: The most common symptoms of this viral
infection are fever and joint pain, while some may experience
headache, muscle pain, swelling or rash.
Those who are experiencing signs of infection should seek immediate
medical attention. To learn more about mosquito and tick-borne
illnesses, as well as ways to protect against them, visit Pestworld.org.
The NPMA, a non-profit organization with more than 7,000 members, was
established in 1933 to support the pest management industry's commitment
to the protection of public health, food and property. For more
information, visit PestWorld.org.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll
on behalf of the National Pest Management Association from July 17-21,
2014 among 2,097 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not
based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical
sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology,
including weighting variables, please contact Missy Henriksen
or Gina Kent (610-455-2763 firstname.lastname@example.org).
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