Debug Fresno Aims to Eliminate Aedes Mosquitos

From NPR July 21st, 2017:

“This summer, scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.

It sounds counterintuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won’t hatch, researchers say.

The project is called Debug Fresno and it’s being undertaken by Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s holding company. It’s the company’s first field study involving sterile mosquitoes in the U.S.

Scientists say the goal is to cut the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — the species responsible for spreading Zika, dengue and chikungunya. A. aegypti have been present in California’s Central Valley since 2013 and have been a problem in Fresno County.”

“Each week for 20 weeks, the company plans to release 1 million of the sterile, non-biting male mosquitoes in two neighborhoods in Fresno County. The male mosquitoes are bred and infected with Wolbachia, a bacterium that is “naturally found in at least 40 percent of all insect species,” according to The Scientist magazine, though it’s normally not found in A. aegypti.”


Assessing key safety concerns of a Wolbachia-based strategy to control dengue transmission by Aedes mosquitoes

New EPA Tools for Insect Repellents vs. Ticks and Mosquitos

The EPA has provided a couple new tools and graphics to assist the public in making an informed choice when picking an insect repellent to help prevent insect vectored diseases from mosquitos and ticks.

The first is a graphic that will appear on products that will show what insects it works against and how long until reapplication is needed called the Repellency Awareness Graphic:

The second is a selection tool where you enter your criteria on ingredients, time needs and potential insect exposure and it shows the products and ingredients available:

CLICK HERE for Insect Repellant Tool Link

Both of these should make it easier for the public to make informed choices about what works and what does not when protecting their family.

ZIKA Virus Update July 5th, 2017

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) released the statistics for 2017 YTD:

Cumulative Zika Virus Disease Case Counts in the United States, 2015-2017

Provisional Data as of July 5, 2017
Zika virus disease became a nationally notifiable condition in 2016. Cases are reported to CDC by state, territorial, and local health departments using standard case definitions. This webpage contains cumulative provisional data reported to ArboNET for January 1, 2015 – July 5, 2017.

US States

  • 5,365 symptomatic Zika virus disease cases reported*

Click Here to Read Full Article..

Powassan Virus Transmission Time

Transmission of Powassan Virus from infected ticks has been found to be much shorter in mice than for other tick vectored diseases.


Short report: duration of tick attachment required for transmission of powassan virus by deer ticks.


Infected deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) were allowed to attach to naive mice for variable lengths of time to determine the duration of tick attachment required for Powassan (POW) virus transmission to occur. Viral load in engorged larvae detaching from viremic mice and in resulting nymphs was also monitored. Ninety percent of larval ticks acquired POW virus from mice that had been intraperitoneally inoculated with 10(5) plaque-forming units (PFU). Engorged larvae contained approximately 10 PFU. Transstadial transmission efficiency was 22%, resulting in approximately 20% infection in nymphs that had fed as larvae on viremic mice. Titer increased approximately 100-fold during molting. Nymphal deer ticks efficiently transmitted POW virus to naive mice after as few as 15 minutes of attachment, suggesting that unlike Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, no grace period exists between tick attachment and POW virus transmission.

Click here for link.

Ohio Arbovirus Update June 19, 2017

Ohio Arbovirus Surveillance Update June 19, 2017

This is the first arbovirus surveillance update of the year, and we have already detected West Nile virus (WNV) activity. Of the 743 pooled mosquito samples tested so far, 3 have tested positive. These were collected in Franklin, Lorain and Summit Counties. This is similar in timing to our first positive samples last year, but we’re also seeing reports of WNV activity in neighboring states that includes an equine case in Kentucky and 2 human cases in Indiana. It is still too early in the surveillance season to predict whether or not this will be a worse than normal year. However, these reports serve as a reminder that WNV infected mosquitoes are active and now is the time to increase your community and public education efforts to include these points:

Click here for full article.