Mosquitoe Outbreaks

Title: Mosquitoes In Boston Test Positive For West Nile Virus
Date: June 29, 2012

Abstract: Boston health officials reported Thursday that for the first time this summer, a sampling of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The mosquitoes were found in Roslindale.

These are the first mosquitoes to test positive anywhere in Massachusetts this year. No human cases of the virus have been reported so far.

“The recent combination of hot weather and rain may have contributed to West Nile appearing slightly earlier this year than in some previous years, and people should take some simple precautions to avoid mosquito bites,” Dr. Anita Barry, director of the Infectious Disease Bureau at the Boston Public Health Commission, said in a statement.

Recommended precautions include using insect repellent when outside, especially from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are more likely to bite, and wearing long pants and long sleeves. Check that window and door screens are in good repair; and to keep mosquitoes from breeding, empty standing water in flower pots, kiddie pools, and garbage cans (, 2012)

Title: West Nile Virus Found In More Maine Mosquitoes
Date: August 23, 2012
USA Today

Abstract: The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says 
West Nile virus has been found in a second mosquito population, this time in Cumberland County.

Mosquitoes are sorted Aug. 16 at a Dallas County lab. There has been a significant increase in the number of U.S. West Nile cases.

Mosquitoes are sorted Aug. 16 at a Dallas County lab. There has been a significant increase in the number of U.S. West Nile cases.

Officials said Thursday it's the second mosquito pool from Maine to test positive this year. The first, confirmed last week, was found in York County.

There has never been a human case of West Nile in Maine.

State epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears said the state continues to investigate two separate cases for the possible human exposure to West Nile and EEE. Testing is being conducted by a federal lab.

Both viruses are transmitted by infected mosquitoes. EEE has historically been found in late-summer in Maine, and West Nile has been found in dozens of mosquito pools in neighboring New Hampshire (USA Today, 2012)

Title: West Nile Virus Transmitted By Mosquitoes In Coachella Valley
Date: September 10, 2012

Abstract: Four human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.  None are in the Coachella Valley.

Yet that doesn't mean the threat posed by mosquitoes and West Nile is over for Valley residents.

The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District reports 106 mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile this year.  20 more than the previous record.

"We did increase the amount of surveillance we've done since that time,
so we have been collecting more mosquitoes, said Greg White, a vector ecologist with Mosquito and Vector Control.  "There is a combination of probably more collections being done, but also there just more virus this year.

Beginning Monday and for five consecutive nights, Mosquito and Vector control is scheduled to spray for mosquitoes in the Mecca area and in Indio around the Valley Sanitary District marshlands.  The spraying is scheduled for between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in Indio and between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. in Mecca.

The humid weather the Valley has experienced this summer has allowed mosquitoes to thrive (KESQ News, 2012)

Title: Second Person In Vermont Dies Of Fatal Brain Infection Spread By Mosquitoes
Date: September 19, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: A second Vermonter has died from the eastern equine encephalitis, a rare and potentially fatal brain infection spread by mosquitoes, Health Department officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Scott Sgorbati, 49, of Sudbury, died within the last few days after fighting the virus for several weeks.

Two weeks ago, Richard Hollis Breen, 87, of Brandon died of EEE, after being sick with the disease for five days.

Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Harry Chen on Tuesday offered condolences to the families of both men and reminded Vermonters that EEE is a very rare virus. On average there are only six cases a year nationwide, he said. About one-third of the people with severe EEE die from the disease. Many of those who survive have mild to severe disabilities.

“What’s important right now is that Vermonters are aware of EEE and take steps to avoid exposure,” he said, such as limiting time outdoors at dawn and dusk, wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants outside and using insect repellents labeled as being effective against mosquitoes.

Efforts to control mosquitoes in Brandon and Whiting are working, but it doesn’t eliminate the threat of EEE, the Health Department said.

Earlier this month, the state used aircraft to spray pesticides in Whiting and Brandon and the number of mosquitoes captured in traps in the area has been cut in half. The small risk of exposure will remain until after the first hard frost, Chen said (Fox News, 2012).

Title: New Disease Strain Found In Midland Mosquitoes
Date: September 27, 2012
My West Texas

Abstract: A new strain of a mosquito-borne disease has led the Texas Department of State Health Services to conduct surveillance programs and tests.

The California serogroup strain has appeared this week for the first time in Midland County and staff are testing those mosquitoes that may be carrying the disease.

Zoonosis control specialist Kathy Parker set out nine traps Monday and Tuesday to catch mosquitoes to send to Austin for testing.

The testing is in conjunction with the regular surveillance testing that is done each year from May through November, said Parker, who covers about 36 counties in West Texas and the Permian Basin.

While West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease, Parker said several other viruses in the area are linked to other mosquito species.

The California serogroup disease recently was found in a Midlander when a doctor suspected it could be an arbovirus, she said.

Symptoms of arboviruses, which are not as severe as West Nile, include headaches and seizures, officials said.

When conducting the surveillance program, Parker said they test the mosquito pools to see if the area sprayings are successful and to check if mosquito levels are down.

Levels have dropped in Midland because sprayings have been conducted all over the city, officials said.

There are diseases specific to each species of mosquito. The California serogroup disease is found mostly in the Eastern states. There have been only five known cases in Texas since 1964, according to officials.

To conduct the surveillance program, Parker said she goes out before sunset, usually between 6 and 8 p.m., and sets traps in a water hole where there have been reports of mosquitoes.

The trap -- which is made with a PC pipe -- sucks up mosquitoes into nets. The next morning, she collects the live mosquitoes and then sends them in vials to Austin for testing.

"The main thing is trapping. We go to areas where there is a high concentration to evaluate the spraying and whether it's working or not. If it is, it's then decreasing the (mosquito) population," she said.

Midland and West Texas are approximately two weeks behind the peak season of West Nile that regions such as East Texas have been experiencing. Officials said Wednesday that it's likely West Texans still will see West Nile cases in both humans and horses through the end of October.

The number of cases has begun to drop, but Parker said DSHS is trying to be vigilant and get a start on next summer's cases by conducting these surveillance programs.

"We got really lucky. It could have been so much worse," she said about this year's West Nile.

Parker said officials want to develop a good plan of action to address West Nile before the mosquito season starts up again.

While the mosquito population never will be completely eliminated, residents can help reduce breeding. It takes approximately four days for an egg to mature into an adult, Parker said.

With rain expected in the forecast today, Friday and Saturday, Parker said residents should eliminate standing water on their property. Tires or empty garbage cans that collect rainwater could be breeding grounds, she said.

Parker plans to place traps around the city on Monday and Wednesday and requests that people do not touch the traps.

She hopes that staying on top of the surveillance will provide information and insight before next year's West Nile season hits.

"Who could have known this season we had?" she said (My West Texas, 2012).