Mosquito & Vector News

Record Rainfalls and Warm Temperatures Could Mean an Explosion of Mosquitoes

National Mosquito Control Awareness Week is a Reminder to Californians to Protect Themselves 

SACRAMENTO, June 22, 2017 – While California’s wettest winter in 122 years ended the state’s historic drought, the surge in rainfall could contribute to another threat: an active mosquito season with the potential for increased mosquito-borne virus transmission to people.

Heavy rains over the past six months have produced new sources of standing water throughout the state. As the weather heats up, these sources become ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes which could result in tens of thousands of potential virus transmitters, posing a health risk to Californians.

Mosquitoes in California actively transmit West Nile virus and Saint Louis encephalitis each year, and invasive mosquitoes detected in the state have the potential to transmit even more viruses such chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika.

Click here to read the full press release.

Updated CDC map shows 21% increase in US counties reporting mosquito that transmits Zika

Last year, with the Western Hemisphere in the grip of a surprising Zika virus epidemic, CDC researchers used a survey to compile a list of U.S. counties where the mosquito at the heart of the epidemic, Aedes aegypti, had been documented over the past 21 years. They also documented counties that reported finding another mosquito, A. albopictus, known to transmit chikungunya and dengue viruses. The researchers said their data could be used to guide surveillance and mosquito control efforts across the country.

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California’s wet winter could lead to an early mosquito season and increased virus transmission

Mosquito Awareness Week educates California residents on preventing mosquito-borne viruses

SACRAMENTO, APRIL 13, 2017 – As California’s extremely wet winter comes to a close, mosquito experts throughout the state are ramping up for what will most likely be an early and active mosquito season. While the heavy rains were good for the state’s historic drought, they also produce new sources of standing water, the ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes and warm weather go hand in hand. Spring temperatures will further determine how early and aggressive the mosquito season will be.

With potentially the perfect storm of conditions for mosquito activity, Californians need to be aware of the serious risks mosquitoes present to their health including West Nile, Saint Louis encephalitis, and potentially dengue, chikungunya, and Zika viruses.

Click here to read the full press release.

In valley, Indio at center for fight against Zika

Barrett Newkirk, The Desert Sun – Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Saturdays at dawn, a single-seat helicopter swoops over an Indio neighborhood, low enough that people hear the engine whir before they see the chopper flying just above the trees.

Trailing behind it are four streams of brown mist.

At first, the spraying worried Veronica Cruz, who said the noise would get her out of bed.

“Later we found out it was because of the mosquitoes,” Cruz said.

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District has used the helicopter since February to target the area the public agency says has become the epicenter of its battle with an invasive species of mosquito capable of spreading the Zika virus and other dangerous diseases. The aerial spraying is expected to continue well into April.

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California residents urged to dump out standing water as mosquito season heats up

Kristin Hanes, SFGATE – Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The heavy rains may be wiping out California’s drought, but they’re breeding a different sort of problem. One that’s tiny, irritating, and makes a high pitch buzzing sound in your ear.

“Persistent rains require persistent mosquito control,” said Jamesina Scott, district manager and research director for Lake County Vector Control, and President of Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California. “We have had a lot of heavy rain and a lot of standing water. Our early season mosquitoes are taking full advantage of it. Mosquito control workers across the state have been inspecting all the standing water that’s out there now to find the best control solution.”

There are 56 different types of mosquitoes that live in California. Every one has its own season, is own habitat, its own hosts, and ability to transmit disease.

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In the Fight Against Zika, Insecticides Hit a ‘Dead End’

By JACOB BUNGE and BETSY MCKAY
Wall Street Journal – Jan. 5, 2017

Health workers have a thinning arsenal of insecticides capable of killing mosquitoes that carry Zika and similar viruses as the Southern Hemisphere’s summer begins and as outbreaks persist in other areas.

One reason: Eliminating disease-carrying mosquitoes is a niche business with costly barriers to entry.

“We may be hitting a dead end,”…

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CDPH media release: Zika and Travel

Today CDPH issued a media release “Holiday Travelers Reminded to Take Precautions to Prevent Zika”, there is also an accompanying travel advisory.

Mosquito Control and Vector-Borne Disease in California: The Interjurisdictional Relationship of Water Management

Recent article that discusses the need for interaction and cooperation between mosquito and vector control agencies and water management agencies.

Click here to view

With Zika Taking Center Stage, We Can’t Forget About West Nile Virus

National Mosquito Control and Awareness Week is a Reminder to Californians

SACRAMENTO, June 24, 2016 – By now we are all very aware of the Zika virus that has continued to make headlines in the United States over the past several months. With much of the attention on Zika, it is important not to forget about the continued threat of West Nile virus (WNV).

WNV is responsible for hundreds of reported cases each year. It can cause severe disease that infects peoples’ nervous system, potentially resulting in death. In 2015, in California alone, 53 people were killed by the virus and 783 cases were confirmed.

As June 26 – July 2 has been declared National Mosquito Control Awareness Week by the American Mosquito Control Association, now is an ideal time to remind individuals that Zika virus is not the only mosquito-borne threat. This week is intended to educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers throughout the United States and worldwide.

Click here to read the full press release.

Enlisting Mosquitoes to Fight Zika

A NY Times video-report on Consolidated Mosquito Abatement’s collaborative Aedes aegypti/Wolbachia male release project.

Click here to view on the NY Times website

Media Advisory: “Fight the Bite” at California’s State Capitol

The Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California to hold “Fight the Bite” public education event urging prevention and protection methods against mosquitos and vectors as summer months approach

Click here for more information

Press Release: West Nile Virus Remains a Serious Threat in California as Summer Months Approach

West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week educates California residents on preventing mosquito-borne viruses. 

SACRAMENTO, APRIL 18, 2016 – Mosquitoes and warm weather go hand in hand.  With summer rapidly approaching, Californians need to be aware of the serious risk West Nile virus (WNV) presents to their health.

To raise awareness and educate Californians about the threat mosquitoes and vectors pose to our communities, the California Legislature declared April 17 – 23, 2016 as West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week.

“While a lot of attention has been given to Zika virus, West Nile virus killed more Californians in 2015 than any other year before,” said Senator Bob Wieckowski, chair of the Environmental Quality Committee and author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 121. “Properly funded local mosquito abatement programs are vital to protecting public health and saving lives.”

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Press Release: SB 1246 Puts Californians at Increased Public Health Risk

SACRAMENTO, March 10, 2016 – A new bill introduced in the California state senate poses a significant threat to the health of residents and visitors. SB 1246 (Nguyen) would require local mosquito control agencies to provide notice to governmental agencies, school districts, chambers of commerce, and elected officials at least seven days before administering pesticides by aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicles over a residential area. The proposed requirement would impair mosquito control agencies’ ability to manage mosquito populations and protect public health.

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We Can’t Expect the Government to Save Us From Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes, by Kenn Fujioka

The Arrival of the Zika Virus in the U.S. Reminds Us That the First Line of Defense Is Our Own Backyards

“We need you to come take a look at something.” Ecologist Angela Brisco and technician Marc Mitchell, employees of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, peered over the short wall of my cubicle. Whenever our staff neglected to use my “front door,” I knew something was wrong.

They showed me a single female mosquito under the microscope. It didn’t look good: I focused up and down, trying desperately to make the black and white stripes on her legs and the white “ax mark” on her thorax disappear.

“Where did you find her?” I asked.

“El Monte,” Marc said sadly. “A woman complained about being bitten during the day by mosquitoes, and I caught this one at her home.”

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A Century of Mosquito Control in California: 1915 – 2015, by Joseph Wakoli Wekesa

A recent article by MVCAC Member Joseph Wakoli Wekesa that appeared in the Winter issue of the AMCA Wingbeats.

“It was no accident that the first “service request” for relief from mosquito bites in 1904 by the Chair of the San Rafael Improvement Association was delivered to Professor Charles W Woodworth of University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley).  The previous year Woodworth surveyed mosquitoes in the San Rafael salt marsh with his entomology class, which attracted the attention of local residents…”

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Mosquito-Borne Viruses And Transmission

To help answer the public’s questions and concerns about the Zika virus, UC Davis Health System is hosting a community forum on Saturday, featuring a panel of leading experts on the transmission, treatment and prevention of the disease.

One of the panelists, epidemiologist Chris Barker, BS, MS, PhD, who specializes in the surveillance and control of mosquito-borne viruses, joins Insight to explain more about mosquito transmission.

Read more and listen to MVCAC Member Chris Barker’s interview with Capital Public Radio here.

MVCAC Press Release: Mosquito Control is Key to Preventing the Spread of Zika Virus

Local mosquito control agencies will continue to employ protection and prevention methods to ensure lowest level of public health threat.

SACRAMENTO, FEBRUARY 8, 2016 – As Zika virus spreads through the Americas, it is important to understand the reality of California’s exposure to the virus and the measures state and local vector control districts take to shield more than 38 million residents from this and other mosquito transmitted diseases.

Zika virus has federal, state, and local health agencies at an increased level of alertness as they inform U.S. residents about how the virus spreads and the risk of disease, areas where Zika virus is being transmitted, symptoms to look out for, and how to protect oneself from being bitten by mosquitoes.

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LA Times – Aggressive nonnative mosquitoes spreading across state carry disease risk

It has the makings of a science-fiction film: the threat of deadly disease, a metropolis oblivious to the impending danger and, of course, extraordinarily hostile insects.

That’s the scenario California health officials say they’re facing as they track the arrival of nonnative mosquitoes that can carry infectious diseases.

The insects are quickly spreading across Southern California — aided by the statewide drought — and have the potential to transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever, all of which kill thousands of people around the world each year.

Read more

 

 

Press Release: California’s Hot, Dry Summer Calls for Robust Mosquito Abatement

National Mosquito Control and Awareness Week Puts Californians on High Alert

SACRAMENTO, June 19, 2015 – By now, it comes as no surprise to most Californians that the driest year in the state’s history has had a number of implications for its residents and communities. However, it may come as a surprise that as a result of these conditions, mosquitoes are prolific and their ability to spread disease is at an all-time high.

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Battling mosquito-borne diseases in dry California

Click here to view the full article

By: Robert Ferris, CNBC News

The state’s Department of Public Health recently announced that 2014 was a record year for potentially dangerous mosquito-borne West Nile virus cases, and some mosquito-control experts are concerned about the effect that warm weather and drought will have on mosquitos in 2015.

Given that the parasitic insects like to lay their eggs in water, it may be tempting to assume that California’s severe, 4-year-old drought would make the mosquito problem better, not worse. But there are many aspects to the drought that are seen exacerbating the problem.

California’s largest city, Los Angeles, has a vast network of storm drains that carry rainwater out to the ocean via the Los Angeles River. Over time, earthquakes have damaged some of these waterways, creating small interruptions where stagnant water collects.

The mosquito that lives there, Culex quinquefasciatus, remains active all year round, laying eggs in the pools. Wetter years produce regular storms that wash out the waterways. The last few years, which have been very dry, have not provided that safeguard.

Then there’s the fact that people throughout California have taken steps to conserve or catch water. Other homeowners have stopped filling or maintaining their pools. Both cases can result in small pools of stagnant water, which in turn become an excellent home for mosquitoes.

Susanne Kluh of the Los Angeles County Vector Control District, which combats mosquitoes in order to prevent disease, said her group is trying to work with cities to strike a balance between water conservation efforts and mosquito control.

Predicting epidemics is impossible to do precisely—factors include the health of mosquito and bird populations, climate and water availability, and others—but people who work in the state’s disease control groups are already seeing insects in the air.

Kluh said she and her colleagues are already observing population numbers slightly higher than their five-year average, even though the group had been chemically treating nests all winter.

“Right now, we are closer to what our numbers would be like during the summer,” Kluh said.

Vector control agencies like Kluh’s test samples of mosquito populations for viruses. They’ve already seen one sample test positive for West Nile this year. That’s unusual for this early in the year, and it’s not a guarantee of an outbreak in the same area, Kluh told CNBC.

Aside from the dry conditions, hotter summers and milder winters are also making the problem worse lately.

“We have a lot more infected mosquitoes in the area during some of these years that have very mild winters,” said Joel Buettner, president of the Mosquito & Vector Control Association of California, an association of public agencies given the task of reducing mosquito populations and testing for viruses in animal and insect populations.

Data from other states show a similar correlation between warm winters and West Nile epidemics, including a recent study of epidemics in Dallas.

California had a mild winter, so vector control technicians had to start tackling active mosquito populations early in the season, Buettner said.

Hotter summers also make a difference. The warmer weather speeds up the lifecycles of the insects. They feed more, they metabolize the blood they feed on faster, and the viruses they carry replicate faster in their bodies. All of those factors can spread the disease more quickly.

A hot summer also can extend the mosquito season from two or three months to five months, which heightens chances of a human case. Two outbreaks in Saskatchewan, Canada, both occurred toward the tail end of a long and hot season.

Other factors may limit dangers, of course.

West Nile virus is a disease that mostly affects birds, not humans. Mosquitos become carriers of the virus when they bite an infected bird. The insect can then transmit the disease to any human it bites after that. But mosquitos can pass the disease only from bird to bird or bird to human. Biting an infected human won’t by itself make a mosquito into a carrier; only contact with an infected bird will.

That’s why a sufficient number of susceptible birds is necessary to produce fast-spreading West Nile virus epidemics, according to Dr. Bill Reisen, a professor of veterinary medicine at UC Davis. But many of the affected birds have died off, and immunity has built up among those that remain.

“What we have found is that when you have epidemics that go to fruition, such as they did in Los Angeles or Orange County, usually the following year is a pretty light year, regardless of the heat and the drought or any everything else.”

The areas most likely to suffer an outbreak in the coming years are those that went mostly untouched in recent years, and since Los Angeles was hit hard in 2014, it may have an easier go of it this year.

“Areas like Bakersfield and some other Central Valley cities didn’t have a huge year, so they might be at risk,” Reisen said.

But West Nile is only one of the mosquito-borne diseases worrying some health and disease prevention groups. More recent invasive mosquito species, such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, transmit Dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya. Those mosquito species are already in California cities, though they have not yet contributed to epidemics. But most people who watch disease-carrying insects are keeping eyes on outbreaks elsewhere, especially in areas where Californians travel.

While West Nile virus requires birds to spread, chikungunya and Dengue fever can be transferred by mosquitoes that are only biting the human population. Fighting those mosquitoes will require a different set of strategies, Kluh said. And, unlike West Nile-carrying Culex mosquitoes, Aedes mosquitoes can lay eggs individually, in spaces as small as a bottlecap.

“Everyone in the mosquito-control business in California is pretty worried about this as an inevitability,” Reisen said.

In most people, West Nile virus produces only mild symptoms, if any, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is roughly a one in five chance of developing a fever or other flulike symptoms (with fatigue and weakness that could last for months), and, usually, a less-than-1 percent chance of contracting a serious brain infection, such as meningitis or encephalitis. There are no vaccines, and no treatment other than managing symptoms at home or in a hospital, if needed.

There were 801 cases of West Nile virus in California last year, according to the California Department of Public Health. A highly unusual 561 of them were severe cases of brain infection, and 31 patients died. Health officials are unable to explain the spike in brain infections, but it’s possible that a large number of cases with milder symptoms went unreported or unrecognized by doctors.

The biggest number of cases occurred in Orange County, and the highest per-capita number was in Glenn County, where a large number of flooded rice fields provide an ideal breeding ground for the insect.

Warm Weather and Drought May Lead to Abundance of Mosquitoes

West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week educates California residents on preventing viruses transmitted by mosquitoes

SACRAMENTO, APRIL 17, 2015 – With California’s unusually warm weather and the driest year in the state’s history, Californians may see an unprecedented number of mosquito transmitted diseases in 2015.

To raise awareness and educate Californians about the public health threats mosquitoes and vectors can have on our local communities, the California Legislature declared April 19 – 25, 2015 as West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week in California.

With 2015 marking the 100-year anniversary of California’s Mosquito Abatement Districts Act (AB 1590 enacted in 1915), local mosquito and vector control agencies need to be more diligent than ever. California experienced record-breaking West Nile virus (WNV) activity in 2014 and several exotic mosquito species capable of transmitting deadly diseases have been discovered in the last couple of years and are now permanently established in some California communities.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported 801 human cases of WNV, 561 of which were the serious neurological form of the disease, and 31 deaths, the highest number of fatalities in California since the disease was first detected in 2003. A contributing factor for the staggering number of WNV cases could be a result of the ongoing drought, which reduced the number of sources of water for birds and mosquitoes.

Invasive species capable of transmitting a number of life-threatening diseases including chikungunya, dengue, and yellow fever, are posing an increasing threat to Californians. While these diseases have not been transmitted locally in California at this point, efforts to control these mosquitoes are adding increasing challenges to vector control agencies statewide.

Predicting the level of WNV in any given year is not possible as WNV activity depends on a number of factors including climate, number and species of birds and mosquitoes in an area, as well as the level of immunity in birds to WNV. However, if California continues to experience warm temperatures, we can count on an early start to mosquito and WNV season, extending the number of months local communities and residents are at risk of contracting potential deadly diseases transmitted by mosquitoes.

“It is critical that public agencies do their job to protect nearly 38 million Californians that are at risk and exposed to mosquitoes on a nearly daily basis. Education is key to protection and prevention,” said Joel Buettner, President of the Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California (MVCAC). “It is our job to increase awareness about the severe public health threats mosquitoes pose to our state and residents. Equally as important is communicating prevention methods that can be employed to protect yourself and your local communities,” added Buettner.

To minimize exposure to mosquito bites and WNV, practice the “3 Ds:”

  1. DEET – Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 according to label instructions. Repellents keep mosquitoes from biting. DEET can be used safely on infants and children 2 months of age and older.
  2. DAWN AND DUSK – Mosquitoes capable of transmitting WNV are most active in the early morning and evening, so it important to wear protective clothing and repellent if you are outside during these times. Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Repair or replace screens with tears or holes.
  3. DRAIN – Mosquitoes lay their eggs on standing water. Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including in flower pots, old car tires and buckets. If you know of a swimming pool that is not being properly maintained, please contact your local mosquito and vector control agency.

To increase awareness and enforce prevention and control programs statewide, the MVCAC provides support to more than 65 districts throughout California. As a result, approximately half the land area and 85 percent of California’s population are within the boundaries of a mosquito control program.

MVCAC represents special districts, other subdivisions of local government, and the state of California which are responsible for mosquito and vector control, surveillance of WNV and other vector-borne diseases, as well as public education programs to help Californians protect themselves from disease. MVCAC advocates safe, effective, and environmentally friendly methods of mosquito and vector control.

The MVCAC will be participating in a public education effort, “Fight the Bite 2015,” at the State Capitol on Thursday, April 23rd from 9:30 am – 1:00 pm.

Data Collection on mosquito control expenditures on state lands

MEMORANDUM
February 9, 2014
To: MVCAC Member Agencies
Fr: Joel Buettner
Re: Data Collection on mosquito control expenditures on state lands

At our recent MVCAC Board meeting in Monterrey, we discussed next steps for implementation of AB 896 (Eggman). As you will recall, AB 896 requires the Department of Fish and Wildlife to consult with local vector control districts on best management practices (BMPs) for state wildlife management areas. We will soon be meeting with the Department to discuss next steps but need your help to compile critical data beforehand.

Please click here to read the memo

Please click here to view the State Lands Report Template

Public Health Experts Warn Lack of Planning in Development Projects Increases Risk of Mosquito-borne Disease Threats

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White Paper: How Better Planning and Use of the California Environmental Quality Act Can Prevent Mosquitoes and Vector-Borne Disease

While many local governments have done a good job improvising from existing CEQA guidelines and other planning tools to begin to address this issue, a significant gap exists between state regulations and the resources that most local planning agencies need to address vector issues in the planning process. To address this concern, MVCAC has developed the enclosed white paper, “How Better Planning and Use of the California Environmental Quality Act Can Prevent Mosquitoes and Vector-Borne Disease,” that discusses the benefits for developers, natural resources and public health when adding vector control considerations to local government project planning and design.

MVCAC’s White Paper presents a number of case studies that identify problems and recommended solutions specific to the local planning and CEQA review process and is intended to be a tool for local governments and other lead agencies to manage, analyze, and address the impacts of mosquito and vector breeding inherent in certain types of projects.

To view the entire White paper, “How Better Planning and Use of the California Environmental Quality Act Can Prevent Mosquitoes and Vector-Borne Disease” please click here.

Capital Public Radio – Bloodsucking Insects – July 28, 2013

Listen here

LA Times Article – New Study on Mosquito Monitoring and Prevention of West Nile Outbreaks

Mosquito monitoring can prevent West Nile outbreaks, study says

By Melissa Pandika
July 17, 2013

About 100 cases of West Nile virus infection — and a dozen deaths — could have been prevented last year if public health officials in Dallas had kept track of the proportion of infected mosquitoes caught in traps, a new study says.

A detailed analysis of the 2012 outbreak in Dallas gave researchers the perfect opportunity to test a long-held theory that monitoring mosquitoes, rather than human cases, could predict epidemics and allow for early intervention. Keeping tabs on mosquitoes allows public health officials to estimate the rate of infection in the local mosquito population, as well as the mosquito population size; multiplying the two numbers produces a figure called the “vector index.” Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention thought the vector index would make it easier to see where the virus was spreading and take early action to slow or halt that spread.

West Nile virus, which is most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes, can cause fever, encephalitis and meningitis, according to the CDC. Although most people who are infected won’t display symptoms, about 1 in 5 will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of patients will develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness. Currently, no medications or vaccines for the virus exist.

The virus first emerged in New York City in 1999. It then spread across the U.S, with the first outbreak in Dallas occurring in 2006. After a five-year lull, the virus came roaring back in 2012, infecting 7.3 out of every 100,000 residents and killing 19 people.

Dr. Robert Haley, an epidemiologist with UT Southwestern in Dallas, and his colleagues calculated the vector index for each week during the 2012 epidemic. Frequent monitoring is crucial, because symptoms normally take a week to appear and subsequent lab tests can take another two to three weeks to produce results. By then, the epidemic would have almost finished running its course.

“It can take three or four weeks before you know about people who are infected,” said William Reisen, an epidemiologist at UC Davis who was not part of the study. “By that time, there are that many more infected, and you’re far, far behind.”

Based on those figures, they used statistical models to determine that Dallas public health officials could have prevented 100 cases and 12 deaths had they intervened a week after the vector index hit its threshold. Instead, they took action only after several patients had been hospitalized.

Weather conditions in 2006 and 2012 created “a perfect storm” for a West Nile epidemic, Haley said. Within the 11-year period studied, both years had the fewest hard freeze days — when the temperature low measured less than 28 degrees Fahrenheit — and the warmest spring temperatures. Both years also saw drought punctuated by rainstorms “so there was always a little standing water around,” Haley explained.

Experts say that global warming trends forecast more epidemics. “Diseases that typically only occurred in the tropics are starting to creep northward,” Haley said. “West Nile is one of them.”

Merging surveillance with Census tract data, the researchers also found that, in both the 2006 and 2012 epidemics, cases tended to cluster around affluent, housing-dense areas with a higher percentage of unoccupied homes — not in low socioeconomic neighborhoods, as often occurs with other urban epidemics.

Haley explained that the abundance of housing in these hotspots might have provided a more hospitable environment for the common house mosquito, which carries the West Nile virus, than poorer Dallas neighborhoods, which attract less development.

“The Dallas study is a very cogent reminder that the virus is certainly still here and it’s still capable of causing a very significant public health problem,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, an epidemiologist at the Pennsylvania Department of Health who wrote the editorial that accompanies Haley’s study. “You don’t want to take your eye off the ball.”

Ostroff added that preventing and controlling the virus requires “an integrated vector management approach” that involves identifying potential breeding sites in the winter and spring, well before mosquito season hits. Regularly cleaning clogged gutters and maintaining swimming pools would eliminate many breeding sites, he said. Mosquito monitoring and targeted pesticide use are also key. “It’s the proverbial ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,’ ” he said.

Haley cautioned that his group’s findings may not apply to regions outside of Dallas, adding that the CDC recommends that each region conduct a similar study to begin developing their own prevention program. “This paper gives them ideas,” Haley said. “They can follow along and do some of the same types of things.”

In the editorial accompanying the study, Ostroff warned against complacency among policymakers and the public, which he partly blamed for the delayed response to the Dallas epidemic in 2012. Federal funding for the CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity program, which distributes funds to states and some large cities for mosquito surveillance and disease prevention efforts, peaked at $35 million with the emergence of West Nile in 2000, but dropped to less than $10 million by 2012, he wrote.

But policymakers should also “invigorate” treatment options, Ostroff said, adding that almost 15 years after the first West Nile outbreak, no human virus vaccine, specific treatment, or method to disrupt the transmission cycle has been developed.

melissa.pandika@latimes.com
Twitter: @mmpandika

Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times

Districts Fight Two New Invasive And Disease Carrying Mosquito Species While West Nile Virus Activity Increases Throughout The State

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ACR 21 – 2013 West Nile Virus and Mosquito and Vector Control Awareness Week

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UC Davis Assistant/Associate Professor of Vector Virology Candidate Seminars

Candidates for appointment to Assistant/Associate Professor of Vector Virology in the Center for Vectorborne Diseases and the Department of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology will soon begin visits. MVCAC members and the vector biology community are invited to attend candidate seminars as follows:

  • April 29, 2013: Nikolaos Vasilakis
  • May 1, 2013: Lark Coffey
  • May 13, 2013: Douglas Brackney
  • May 15, 2013: Brian Bird

Candidates for the position of Vector Virologist will give seminars from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. on the above dates. All seminars will be held at 1035 Valley Hall on the UC Davis campus. For questions regarding the seminars contact Dedra Hamilton at 530-752-2015.

Download Candidate Curriculum Vitae
Brian Bird
Douglas Brackney
Lark Coffey
Nikolaos Vasilakis

MVCAC has moved!

1 Capitol Mall, Suite 320
Sacramento, Ca 95814
Fax 916-444-7462

Phone and email are still the same