It's a deadly threat only fitfully reported by news media. But coverage of insect-borne diseases could be improved by environmental journalists who understand the intersection of bugs, humans and climate. A two-part Issue Backgrounder with basics, key resources and a rundown on significant illnesses brought by mosquitoes, and by ticks and other insects.
Central America & the Caribbean
"One. That is the total number of locally transmitted Zika cases confirmed in the continental United States this year, as of mid-August. That single case, recorded on 26 July in Hidalgo County in Texas, which borders Mexico, contrasts with hundreds of cases of local transmission last year."
"The daughter of the murdered Honduran environmentalist Berta Cáceres has survived an armed attack, just weeks after being named leader of the indigenous rights organisation formerly led by her mother."
"A joint U.S.-Cuban expedition to explore the island's coral reefs uncovered a surprisingly healthy ecosystem and large schools of mackerel with significant commercial value, scientists involved in the mission said Tuesday."
"The assassination of Goldman Prize-winning activist Berta Cáceres last March shocked the global community. But in her home country of Honduras, where more than 100 activists have been cut down in the past five years, it was business as usual."
"FONDTOUTANU, Haiti — There is no food, so along the road through the mountains there are children begging for something to eat. Most of the trucks rumble past with donations for somewhere else. But one stopped here the other day with sacks of rice, beans and dried herring, setting off a stampede."
"Nearly nine months after Zika was declared a global health emergency, the virus has infected at least 650,000 people in Latin America and the Caribbean, including tens of thousands of expectant mothers. But to the great bewilderment of scientists, the epidemic has not produced the wave of fetal deformities so widely feared when the images of misshapen infants first emerged from Brazil. Instead, Zika has left a puzzling and distinctly uneven pattern of damage across the Americas."
"The scale of a cholera outbreak in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew may be underreported because remote areas are cut off, a United Nations official in charge of controlling the disease said on Tuesday, adding protests over slow aid made the problem worse."
"The number of people killed by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti rose rapidly into the hundreds on Thursday, mainly in villages making contact with the outside world days after the cyclone ripped through the impoverished nation's picturesque western peninsula."