What is LCMCD doing in response to the threat of Zika?
Preparing for Mosquito Borne diseases
Lee County Mosqutio Control District (LCMCD) has an active mosquito borne disease surveillance program in place to detect arboviruses such as West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis which are diseases that circulate in the wild bird populations and can be detected by bleeding sentinel chicken flocks around the county and testing for the viruses. LCMCD has laboratory capabilities which provide same day results for this surveillance. Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) has been actively preparing a response for Zika, Chikungunya and dengue imported and locally acquired cases. The District’s general objectives in response to these diseases are the prevention, detection, and timely response to outbreaks of these diseases through surveillance and control measures. Chikungunya, dengue and Zika are not known to be circulating in Florida; however, the risk of introduction is high due to travel importation, competent vectors (mosquitoes which can transmit the disease) and human population susceptibility.
District employees have been educated on Chikungunya, dengue and Zika through the State of Florida Department of Health, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the American Mosquito Control Association, the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory, the Florida Mosquito Control Association and the Centers for Disease Control. The District participated in a Florida Department of Health table top exercise with other agencies in preparation for a locally aquired case of Zika.
LCMCD collaborates with the Lee County Health Department to help keep people in Lee County safe from mosquito borne diseases. The Lee County Health Department advises LCMCD when an imported case of a mosquito borne disease has been identified in Lee County. While the LCMCD does not know the name or address of the patient, the District will be given a general area of the individual that has a mosquito borne disease. Within that area, the District will conduct surveillance by inspecting for mosquito larvae and setting traps to collect adult mosquitoes from the area. These collections will show if the particular mosquito that vectors, or is the transmitter of the mosquito borne disease, is present in the area. If that particular mosquito is found in the general area, it will be treated to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes. Keeping the targeted mosquito species’ numbers low should help decrease the probability of disease transmission.
The mosquito species that are capable of transmitting Chikungunya, dengue and Zika virus to humans are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. LCMCD has been systematically collecting surveillance on these vector mosquito populations in Lee County and found them to be widely distributed throughout Lee County. Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus are different from the mosquitoes commonly controlled in Lee County by LCMCD. Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus:
- are active in the daytime and the evening
- do not develop in ditches, marshes, mangroves, fields, or ponds
- are domestic mosquitoes that prefer to live around people and develop in containers that hold water such as tires, pet dishes, bird baths, bromeliads, gutters, toys, boats, tarps, tree holes, planters, plant saucers, buckets, etc.
- do not fly very far from their breeding site
- can utilize the smallest containers to complete larval development, including natural and man- made containers such as tree holes and bottle caps
- prefer blood meals from humans rather than birds or small mammals
Controlling Ae. aegypti and Ae. Albopictus is a challenge for LCMCD. The District does not have enough manpower to check every property in Lee County. Individuals must check around their living and working areas for possible containers breeding mosquitoes. LCMCD must adjust the treatment time for adult mosquito control to be effective in controling adult Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus.
Drain and Cover For Preventing Mosquito Bites
- Drain – Standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying
- Drain water from Garbage cans, house cutters, buckets, pool covers , coolers, toys, flower pots, or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that aren’t being use.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water dishes at least once or twice a week
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition with proper chlorination, empty plastic swimming pools when not it use
- Flush bromeliads at least once a week
- Cover – skin with clothing or repellent
- Wear clothing to protect skin from bites
- Use a Mosquito Repellent – to protect children under 2 months old use mosquito netting
- Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house, repair broken screens on windows, doors, patios, porches
For more information call Lee County Mosquito Control District at
239-694-2174 or visit www.lcmcd.com