Last summer the United States saw a spike in the number of West Nile Virus cases across the country. By the end of the year, 48 states reported confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease, resulting in 243 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “eighty percent of the cases have been from 13 states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio and New York) and a third of all cases have been reported from Texas.” Spring is now right around the corner and officials have started preparing for the battle against the mosquito and the diseases they transmit.
Public health employees in Tarrant County, Texas, where 11 people died of West Nile last year, have already begun trapping and testing mosquitoes. As Dr. Anita Kurtian, chief epidemiologist explains, the plan this year “is significantly more aggressive in terms of surveillance and response.” Source. They’ve increased the number of traps so safety communications to the public can be more proactive.
Dallas County, Texas is also increasing their mosquito trapping as a result of 19 deaths last year.
On the east coast, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in Virginia approved the “Disease Carrying Insect Program” to help measure and prevent not only the spread of West Nile Virus but also Lyme disease that has greatly affected the area in past years.
We at Mosquito Squad are thrilled to see that plans are already in place to be more proactive with respect to the spread of mosquito-borne disease!