Time to break out the insect repellent, Tennessee

May 25, 2018

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  The state Department of Health warns Tennesseans need to take precautions against tick and mosquito borne illnesses as summer-like heat sets in.

Credit cdc.gov

The Department’s Dr. Abelardo Moncayo says incidents of insect delivered diseases are on the rise. Mosquito borne West Nile Virus is endemic throughout Tennessee.

He says tick-borne illnesses are also wide spread.

“The biggest one is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. We have hundreds of reported cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever every year. And we see that throughout the state.”

Dr. Moncayo notes that treatments are available for tick borne illnesses, but not for mosquito delivered disease. He recommends you take precautions when out of doors, especially at dusk and dawn.

Moncayo says that, unfortunately, symptoms for all the insect borne diseases are similar to those for many common illnesses: Fever, muscle pain, headache, and maybe a rash.

“That might be the symptoms of other illnesses, but what’s important to note is that these symptoms might be happening in the summer time.”

The mosquito borne Zika virus was much in the news just a couple years back. Dr. Moncayo says the disease has never been found in Tennessee insects, but warns international travelers still need to be concerned about the illness, especially women who are pregnant or of child bearing age.

Would you like to visit the Tennessee Department of Health's web page devoted to insect borne disease?