Protecting your family against insect borne illnesses

Warm weather couldn’t come soon enough in Siouxland.

"Winter this year seemed like it was 10 months long so everyone is chomping at the bits to get out," said Dr. David Ensz; Family Physician, South Sioux City Mercy Medical Clinic.

But before you and your family head outside, a new warning from the Centers for Disease Control says insect borne illness have tripled in 13 years.

Since 2004, at least nine new diseases have been discovered.

"Just like humans, insects travel," said Dr. Ensz, "Diseases like yellow fever, malaria, they’re still in certain areas away from the United States. But more are becoming prevalent like Zika is in the southern United States."

Dr. David Ensz with Mercy Medical Clinic in South Sioux City, Nebraska says we are just entering peak season these diseases. 

"Ticks and mesquites like warm weather," said Dr. Ensz, "they like especially mesquites like stagnant water so we’re getting into that time period of if there’s stagnant water and it’s warm you’re going to have mesquites and ticks."

The CDC recommends wear insect repellent anytime you’re outdoors. Also, if you’re going into a heavily wooded area be sure you’re wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

"Just before going out shirtless and shoeless, which has happened to my kids, just be sure you’re taking the proper precautions with covering yourself and using insect repellant as needed." 

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