Mosquito Control and the Public
When the temperature climbs, mosquitoes become more active. The City of Wetumpka mosquito control program is directed by the Public Works Director. There are three (3) Control methods utilized by the City of Wetumpka, and are listed as follows:
(1) Spraying an adulticide; to control the adult mosquito population, and saturation, by means of effect ground based spraying operation. Using chemicals regulated by and approved by the United States Department of Agriculture for adult mosquito control, applied at strategic times of day when adult mosquitoes are most active.
(2) Applying larvacide; to control larva stage mosquitoes in aquatic locations where standing water, becomes a breeding ground. The city maintains storm drainage ditches in various locations. These ditches are maintained by clearing debris, and vegetation control. Source reduction will help to eliminate breeding areas, and treatment will help reduce numbers. Larvacides kill mosquitoes in the larva stage, before they leave the water. According to the Department of Agriculture, this technique is most effective control method. It is also the most economical and safest control method. Larvacides are usually in a briquette form, made with chemicals approved by Alabama Department of Agriculture.
(3) Eliminating breeding sites on public property. Citizens are urged be proactive in the mosquito control program. Everyone should survey their properties for potential breeding areas. Look for any place that is shaded and usually damp. Old tires, rarely used bird baths, piles of vegetation that remain for more than a week may become a breeding area, boats, troughs, any container that may hold water. The elimination of these sites will reduce the mosquito population in and around your home. Your efforts in eliminating potential breeding sites on your property will help to control the mosquito population.
Educating the public about potential health hazards resulting from mosquito bites. Diseases such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, Canine heartworm disease, may be reduced through an effective cooperative, mosquito control program. Education pamphlets and mosquito control brochures are available from the Alabama Department of Public Health, Division of Epidemiology, P.O Box 303017, Montgomery, Alabama 36130-3017 or phone (334)206-5969.
The mosquito control program usually begins in April and extends through September. To report a suspected breeding site on public property, call 567-1329, Monday through Friday 7:00 a.m until 3:30 p.m, after 3:30 p.m leave voice mail please.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis Fact Sheet Updated!
Center for Disease Control http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/arbor/eeefact.htm
Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a mosquito-borne viral disease. EEE virus (EEEV) occurs in the eastern half of the United States where it causes disease in humans, horses, and some bird species. Because of the high mortality rate, EEE is regarded as one of the most serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States.
TRANSMISSION: What is the basic EEEV transmission cycle? How do people become infected with EEEV?
* EEEV is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It generally takes from 3 to 10 days to develop symptoms of EEE after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
* The main EEEV transmission cycle is between birds and mosquitoes.
* Many species of mosquitoes can become infected with EEEV. The most important mosquito species in maintaining the bird-mosquito transmission cycle is Culiseta melanura, which reproduces in freshwater hardwood swamps. Culiseta melanura, however, is not considered to be an important vector of EEEV to horses or humans because it feeds almost exclusively on birds. Transmission to horses or humans requires mosquito species capable of creating a “bridge” between infected birds and uninfected mammals such as some Aedes, Coquillettidia, and Culex species.
* Horses are susceptible to EEE and some cases are fatal. EEEV infections in horses, however, are not a significant risk factor for human infection because horses are considered to be “dead-end” hosts for the virus (i.e., the amount of EEEV in their bloodstreams is usually insufficient to infect mosquitoes).
ETIOLOGIC AGENT: What causes EEE?
* Eastern equine encephalitis virus is a member of the family Togaviridae, genus Alphavirus.
* Closely related to Western equine encephalitis virus and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus
HUMAN CLINICAL FEATURES: What type of illness can occur?
* Many persons infected with EEEV have no apparent illness. In those persons who do develop illness, symptoms range from mild flu-like illness to EEE (inflammation of the brain), coma and death.
* The mortality rate from EEE is approximately one-third, making it one of the most deadly mosquito-borne diseases in the United States.
* There is no specific treatment for EEE; optimal medical care includes hospitalization and supportive care (for example, expert nursing care, respiratory support, prevention of secondary bacterial infections, and physical therapy, depending on the situation).
* Approximately half of those persons who survive EEE will have mild to severe permanent neurologic damage.
INCIDENCE: How many and where have human EEE cases occurred?
* Approximately 220 confirmed cases in the US 1964-2004
* Average of 5 cases/year, with a range from 0-15 cases
* States with largest number of cases are Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.
* EEEV transmission is most common in and around freshwater hardwood swamps in the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states and the Great Lakes region.
* Human cases occur relatively infrequently, largely because the primary transmission cycle takes place in and around swampy areas where human populations tend to be limited.
RISK GROUPS: Who is at risk for developing EEE?
* Residents of and visitors to endemic areas (areas with an established presence of the virus)
* People who engage in outdoor work and recreational activities in endemic areas
* Persons over age 50 and younger than age 15 seem to be at greatest risk for developing severe EEE when infected with the virus.
PREVENTION: How can people avoid EEEV infection?
* A vaccine is available to protect equines.
* People should avoid mosquito bites by employing personal and household protection measures, such as using an EPA-registered repellent according to manufacturers’ instructions, wearing protective clothing, avoiding outdoor activity when mosquitoes are active (some bridge vectors of EEEV are aggressive day-biters), and removing standing water that can provide mosquito breeding sites. For more information about preventing mosquito-borne disease see Preventing West Nile Virus.
* The cornerstone of laboratory diagnosis of EEEV infection is serology, especially IgM testing of serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and neutralizing antibody testing of acute- and convalescent-phase serum.
* In fatal cases, however, PCR, histopathology with immunohistochemistry, and virus culture of autopsy tissues continue to be useful. Only a few state laboratories or other specialized laboratories, including those at CDC, are capable of doing this specialized testing.
* EEEV infection is thought to confer life-long immunity against reinfection with EEEV. It does not confer any significant cross-immunity against other alphaviruses (e.g., Western equine encephalitis virus), and it confers no cross-immunity against flaviviruses (e.g., West Nile virus) or bunyaviruses (e.g., La Crosse virus)
SURVEILLANCE: How is EEE monitored?
* Human EEE cases are reportable by state health departments to CDC via ArboNET. Reports of infected horses, mosquitoes, and birds are also collected by ArboNET
* National human EEE case report data for 1964-2004 are posted on this website, by state, as is a map of reported human cases from 1964-2004.
* Risk of exposure to EEEV-infected mosquitoes may increase as the human population expands into natural areas where the virus circulates (e.g., near hardwood, freshwater swamps in the eastern and north-central United States).
* No human EEEV vaccine is currently licensed and it is unlikely that one will be available in the foreseeable future.
* No specific drug treatment for EEE is available.
* Control measures for EEEV are challenging and expensive. For example, laws for the protection of wetlands limit efforts to eliminate some swamps or to treat them with mosquito larvicides or aerial insecticides; in some regions, there is a lack of public support for use of insecticides to reduce populations of mosquitoes that transmit EEEV or other mosquito-borne viruses.
*** WEST NILE VIRUS ALERT ***
West Nile virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, and can infect people, horses, many types of birds, and some other animals.
Most people who become infected with West Nile Virus will have either no symptoms or only mild ones.
On rare occasions, West Nile virus infection can result in a severe and sometimes fatal illness known as West Nile encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain). The risk of severe disease is higher for those with compromised or weak immune systems, young children and persons 50 years of age and older.
---- HOW TO RID YOUR YARD OF HIDDEN MOSQUITOES ------
Get rid of stagnant water. Mosquitoes live and breed in places with lots of standing water—and they don’t fly very far. So check your home and yard for places where water can collect, including:
- Gutters: They can easily become clogged with leaves and debris
- Birdbaths: Drain and refill your birdbaths once a week
- Flower pots: Look for water in the platters underneath the pots
- Swimming pools and hot tubs: Drain any unused pools, and drain the water off the covers regularly
- Wading pools: Drain them, and turn them over when not in use
- Look for and discard any other potentially wet places where mosquitoes can congregate, such as old tires, tin cans, and empty pots.
Avoid the outdoors during high-risk times. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are most active at dawn, dusk, and early evening.
Keep mosquitoes outside. Make sure that all of the windows and doors in your home have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace those screens that are torn or have holes.
Do not rely on ultrasonic devices, backyard bug zappers, or bird/bat houses in the backyard to rid your home and yard of mosquitoes.
5. Obstructions in culverts, blocking the flow of water through the drainage ditch.