WASHINGTON -- The news that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has been battling bedbugs in a section of its downtown headquarters is a disconcerting revelation to anyone fearful of the blood-sucking critters.
But could bedbugs find their way onto Metro's trains and buses as well?
As the Examiner reports, Metro has been mum on whether bedbug have been found in the transit system itself. But in all likelihood, bedbugs will find their way there, too -- if they aren't there already:
Dini Miller, an urban entomologist at Virginia Tech, said people should not be surprised to find bed bugs on a bus or a train, or anywhere else. She called the Washington region "bed bug central" because it's a large urban area with people from all over. Yet, she says, throwing a fit won't get rid of them.
"Keep calm because this is going to be with us the rest of our lives," she said. "We need to learn how we can deal with this thing."
Keep calm and carry on?
Also on HuffPost:
Dengue Fever is also known as "break-bone fever" due to the intense pain it causes. Like many of the infections travellers should be weary about, it's transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the disease. No treatment or vaccination is available according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Traveller's best bets are to use insect repellent and minimize exposed skin.
According to Professor Sly, those with severe cases of Cholera infection have a 50 per cent chance of death if untreated. The high mortality rate makes avoiding water contaminated with sewage or feces imperative as unsafe drinking water is one of the main causes of the disease. Vaccinations are available and treatment is best done through drinking plenty of clean water.
There are six types of hepatitis: A, B, C, D, E, F and G, though A and B are the primary concerns for travellers due to transmission through fluids. Symptoms include fatigue, stomach pains and jaundice. Vaccinations are available for hepatitis A and B and many infected with hepatitis A often recover naturally.
While mosquitoes are the main culprit for the spread of malaria, the actual cause of the disease is due to a parasite that spread through mosquito bites. There are four types of parasites that cause malaria, with only the P. falciparum variety known to cause death. The disease is treatable, though no vaccine is currently available. Antimalaria medication exists and while it won't make travellers immune to the disease, it will decrease the chance of an infection.
Like Malaria, Japanese Encephalitis is spread through mosquitoes carrying the disease. Symptoms include fevers and headaches but can evolve into paralysis, seizures, coma and death. Supportive care is recommended for those infected as there is no treatment or cure, though vaccines are available in the United States and Canada.
While many countries in North America have the rabies situation under control, countries like Nepal and Tibet do not, according to Professor Sly. As such, it's imperative that travellers stay away from wild dogs as bites from infected animals can be fatal. There's no cure though a vaccine injected shortly after a bite infected with rabies can be enough to stop the disease.
Caused by the bite of a mosquito carrying a flavivirus, Yellow Fever gets its name due to the yellowing of the skin and eyes, known as a condition called jaundice. Symptoms are flu like at first but can eventually lead to death if supportive care isn't found quickly. Currently there is no treatment but a vaccine is available for travellers.