CDC: Disease cases from mosquitoes, ticks & fleas has tripled in the U.S. in 13 years

The Centers for Disease Control has released a new report saying the number of people getting sick from bug bites is spreading rapidly. Infections from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas have more than tripled since 2004, and at least nine diseases have been reported for the first time in the U.S.

Between 2004 and 2016, more than 640,000 cases of these diseases were reported. (Image: CDC)

The sixteen diseases tracked by the CDC include well-known diseases like Lyme and Zika, which have seen a dramatic rise since 2004. Specifically, the number if disease cases from ticks have doubled.

More germs (2004-2016)

  • Chikungunya and Zika viruses caused outbreaks in the US for the first time.
  • Seven new tickborne germs can infect people in the US.

The CDC points out more people are at risk for a number of reasons. Commerce moves mosquitoes, ticks and fleas around the world, and infected travelers can spread germs.

A map of disease cases from mosquitoes (Image: CDC)

A map of disease cases from ticks (Image: CDC)

So, what can you do to help minimize your risk? The CDC has the following suggestions:


  • Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents, with permethrin or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.
  • Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets.
  • Find and remove ticks daily from family and pets.
  • Take steps to control mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas inside and outside your home.