The Best Mosquito Repellents: Which One’s Right for You?

by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Last week, we talked about how to prevent mosquito bites. Today, we’ll delve into the vast array of mosquito repellents to help you decide which option is best for you. All four of the main repellents mentioned in this post work. Some work better on some people than others, so finding the best repellent for you can be just a trial and error thing. But with each one, there are some tips you’ll want to consider. First, the main tip … […]

By | April 26th, 2016|Critters|2 Comments

Yes, Mosquitoes Do Prefer Certain People. And You Could Be One.

An insecticide-treated net is rolled up above a bed in Kumi, Uganda. At night, unfurled, it protects the sleeper from disease-carrying mosquitoes.  by James Hubbard, MD, MPH I have a good friend who claims he rarely gets bitten by mosquitoes. While others around him are swatting and scratching, he sits in comfort enjoying the great outdoors. How can that be? And what mosquito-bite prevention techniques can we mere mortals use to keep these bloodsuckers—and sometimes disease carriers—at bay? […]

By | April 19th, 2016|Critters|19 Comments

Beyond the Headlines: Going In-Depth About the Zika Virus

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of two types of mosquito that could spread the Zika virus in the United States. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Zika virus is in the news. It’s an infection you get from certain types of mosquitoes, and it’s linked to a sometimes devastating birth defect called microcephaly. More on that later. Here are the latest facts on the disease and why you should care. […]

By | April 12th, 2016|Critters, Infectious Disease|3 Comments

6 Things You Need to Know About Malaria, Just in Case

A “Long-Term-Disaster Diseases” post. See the rest in the series here. by James Hubbard, MD, MPH Normal red blood cells have light centers. The blue ones have been infested with malaria parasites. Today, April 25, is World Malaria Day. When my father was a boy in Mississippi, he had malaria. Millions of others did also in the American South in the 1930s. After a few days of the typical fever, teeth-chattering chills, and drenching sweats he got over it. Many did. But many others died. Millions still do—some here in the United States. We don’t yet have a vaccine for malaria, but we do have effective drugs. Even so, during a long-term disaster, those drugs may not be available. So here are some important facts to know. What Is Malaria? […]

By | April 25th, 2014|Infectious Disease|9 Comments

Why Mosquitoes Don’t Like Rain. 6 West Nile Myths, Busted.

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. I heard on the radio that this summer is going to be a bad one for West Nile virus. They were talking about how many cases some areas have had and how many people have died. USA Today reports 693 cases and twenty-eight deaths scattered through thirty-two states. Last week alone there were 390 cases and eight deaths. And it’s only going to get worse. For some reason West Nile is usually worst in mid-August through mid-September. It got me to thinking, if it’s this bad now, how much worse it would be during a disaster. We’d probably be outside more, maybe have holes in the inside walls, probably have more mosquitoes due to stagnant water. Could it be one disaster on top of another? And, for this year, should you and your kids stay inside? Well, hold on answering until you read my list of myths below. […]

By | August 16th, 2012|Critters, Infectious Disease|19 Comments