History of mosquitoborne diseases in the United States and implications for new pathogens

Max J. Moreno-Madriñán, Michael Turell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


The introduction and spread of West Nile virus and the recent introduction of chikungunya and Zika viruses into the Americas have raised concern about the potential for various tropical pathogens to become established in North America. A historical analysis of yellow fever and malaria incidences in the United States suggests that it is not merely a temperate climate that keeps these pathogens from becoming established. Instead, socioeconomic changes are the most likely explanation for why these pathogens essentially disappeared from the United States yet remain a problem in tropical areas. In contrast to these anthroponotic pathogens that require humans in their transmission cycle, zoonotic pathogens are only slightly affected by socioeconomic factors, which is why West Nile virus became established in North America. In light of increasing globalization, we need to be concerned about the introduction of pathogens such as Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis, and Venezuelan equine encephalitis viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-826
Number of pages6
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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