More Reasons for DDT Use

A recent upsurge in Dengue offers a depressing reminder that malaria is not the only serious mosquito-borne disease affecting the world. Dengue—a virus transmitted by mosquito bites—can lead to fever, severe joint pain, internal hemorrhaging, and death for some.

This year, many Asian nations—particularly Cambodia, Indonesia, and
Vietnam—are suffering from a serious outbreak. Regarding this year’s occurrence Kroeger Axel of the Dengue research coordinator for the World Health Organization notes: “We always think next year it will get better, but we always find next year it gets worse … There’s a very clear upward trend.”

The spread of Dengue could eventually affect the United States, as it did in 2001 when there was an outbreak in Hawaii. U.S. public-health officials quickly controlled that outbreak with the assistance of pesticides. Unfortunately, many nations do not have access to the products we use, which are expensive. They stand to lose the most from green activist campaigns against products like DDT, which otherwise could offer a safe, affordable, and effective tool in this battle.