CDC is engaged on a information to mosquito management after pure disasters

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20th October 2020

3 min read

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Disclosure:
Connelly does not report any relevant financial information. In the special edition you will find all relevant financial information from all other authors.

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The CDC and the American Mosquito Control Association have worked together to create the first resource to control mosquito control in areas hit by natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods.

Resources are located in a special issue of the Journal of American Mosquito Control Association, which includes research, real-world examples of how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters from a mosquito control perspective, and lessons from previous disasters.

Culex mosquito
According to researchers, West Nile Virus (WNV) incidence can increase by more than 95% in areas with severe hurricane damage. Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes are the primary vector of WNV in the southeastern United States
Photo credit: CDC / James Gathany

One of the studies used a model to assess the effect of hurricane timing on the risk of neuroinvasive disease of the human West Nile Virus (WNV-NID) on the north coast of the Gulf of Mexico. According to the study, early-season hurricanes, which typically land before the peak of WNV transmission activity, increased the average total number of potential mosquito vectors for the year by 7.8% and the incidence of human WNV NID by 94.3% in all areas of hurricane damage .

Healio spoke to Roxanne Connelly, PhD, Chief Entomologist in the Arboviral Disease Division of the CDC, Discuss the specific problem and impact of natural disasters on mosquito-borne diseases.

Roxanne Connelly

Q: Who is this problem for? and who should it read?

ONE: This special edition of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association is for all professionals who might play a role in disaster relief, including public health workers, mosquito control, rescue workers, and government workers. The information in this issue can help state and local agencies plan mosquito control after a disaster and focus on restoring their community.

Q: How do natural disasters like hurricanes and floods lead to an increase in mosquito-borne diseases?

ONE: Natural disasters like hurricanes and floods can create new places for mosquitoes to lay eggs and potentially increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Floods caused by hurricanes can lead to a large number of bothersome mosquitoes, which generally do not spread viruses that make people sick but can hinder recovery activities. In addition to the annoying mosquitoes, in the weeks following a hurricane, populations of mosquitoes that can spread viruses, such as WNV, can increase, particularly in areas that have not been flooded but received more rainfall than usual.

Q: Are there differences in the local, Status and federal agencies should prepare for and respond to natural disasters related to mosquito-borne diseases?

ONE: In general, local government agencies are usually at the forefront of disaster relief, with federal and state governments helping when things get complex and potentially overwhelming. It is incredibly important for authorities at all levels of government to have well thought out plans of what to do before, during and after a natural disaster. Effective control of both pesky mosquitoes and those that can make people sick after a natural disaster can help communities recover faster and avoid potential disease outbreaks.

Resources in this special edition of the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association include real world examples, research, and teachings from authors representing federal and state agencies. Mosquito control programs and health departments in Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas; Research institutions; and the military. Ensuring that state and local authorities have the knowledge and resources they need to respond to public health issues in an emergency is a top priority for the CDC.

Q: How can people prepare for and respond to a possible rapid surge in mosquito population?

ONE: Floods occur immediately after a hurricane. Mosquito eggs laid in the ground by flood mosquitoes during previous floods hatch, resulting in very large populations of flood mosquitoes. Most of these mosquitoes are considered annoying mosquitoes. The best way to avoid mosquitos in your home is to regularly throw standing water into containers like flower pots and kiddy pools, and to throw away debris around the house, which can collect water like old tires. You can keep mosquitos out of your home by installing screens on your windows and doors. The best way to prevent mosquito bites when you’re outdoors is to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and an EPA-registered insect repellent.

Q: How about clinicians?

ONE: Doctors should be aware that a number of infectious diseases can emerge after natural disasters, including mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquito-borne diseases can occur several weeks after a natural disaster, when the mosquito population increases and people become infected and develop symptoms. It is important that doctors know which mosquito-borne diseases are common in their area and understand the clinical signs and symptoms. The most common mosquito-borne disease in the US is WNV disease, which can range from mild to severe. In the United States, tests for common mosquito-borne diseases can be done to help make a possible diagnosis. For information about the various mosquito-borne diseases, their symptoms, availability of diagnostic tests, and treatment, doctors can visit their state or local public health website and the CDC website.

References:

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