Dengue Fever Hits Key West, Florida

June 9, 2010, 10:39 a.m.

AMCA Emphasizes Importance of Mosquito Control

Mount Laurel, NJ (PRWEB) May 27, 2010 -- The recent outbreak of 28 cases of dengue fever in Key West, Florida illustrates one of the premier challenges faced by mosquito control agencies on a daily basis, according to the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). The discovery of dengue from a patient diagnosed in New York as having been acquired in the Key West area allowed the rapid deployment of targeted mosquito control measures that proved critical in containing what could have been a devastating outbreak reaching far beyond the Florida Keys.

“The emergence and spread of dengue virus in the continental United States should concern us all, as it demonstrates our vulnerability to imported exotic disease via the worldwide increase in eco-tourism and international air travel,” says Joseph Conlon, AMCA Technical Advisor.

The species of mosquito responsible for the transmission of dengue breed in water containers around households, and are extremely difficult to control using standard control methods. Thus, Edsel Fussell, and his expert crew at the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District in Key West, spent countless hours going door-to-door treating premises and informing the citizenry of what they can do to assist in the control efforts by way of emptying water containers and using effective mosquito repellents.

These successful control efforts underscore the need for a professional mosquito control infrastructure that can quickly respond to threats from exotic diseases as they arise. The health care costs associated with outbreaks such as this far exceed the level of funding required to equip and maintain mosquito control programs

Malaria, Rift Valley Fever and yellow fever are, indeed, a plane ride away, and the AMCA, a not-for-profit professional society of over 1,700 mosquito control experts headquartered in New Jersey, is becoming increasingly alarmed.

“We will all pay the price for complacency,” says Conlon. “We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry. We must be prepared to prevent their becoming part of our public health landscape. That requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control.”

About the American Mosquito Control Association
Celebrating 75 years of protecting public health in 2010, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service association. With 1,600 members worldwide, AMCA services are provided mainly to public agencies and their principal staff members engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. The membership extends to more than 50 countries, and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research and related activities. Please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.org and follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.

 

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