In southern Texas, the city of Laredo hasn’t confirmed a single case of dengue in nearly 20 years. Just a short walk across the border into Mexico, the city of Nuevo Laredo has confirmed hundreds of cases of the mosquito-borne disease. Hector Gonzalez says the difference lays in the city’s robust commitment to public health-led mosquito control.
Most people infected with mosquito-borne West Nile virus don’t experience any symptoms at all. However, the tiny percentage of cases that do end up in the hospital total hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.
Last year, reported cases of West Nile virus in the United States hit their highest levels in nearly a decade. It's a good reminder to keep protecting yourself from getting bitten, but it also begs the question: Is this just a sign of a much bigger threat? The answer is just as wily as the pesky mosquito.