District 4 Public Health which serves Coweta County in Georgia, works to protect residents against mosquito-borne viruses through arboviral surveillance. This year, they aim to remind the public to stay vigilant about preventing mosquito bites. So far this year, surveillance data gathered by the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Public Health confirms at least seven horses in different counties to have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis. A dog was also infected.
In order to collect information, mosquito traps are set in permanent and semi-permanent water areas, and collected beginning in mid-summer and lasting until mid-fall. If any mosquitos are found to carry any potentially dangerous viruses District 4 personnel are notified immediately. This type of surveillance allows public health to notify residents of an increased risk in the area. Locations for setting traps are identified using known breeding areas, complaints from residents about standing water and problems with mosquitoes, and/or dead bird calls. Calls are logged and mapped using GIS to determine placement of the mosquito traps.
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Melissa Lawrence, Rutgers Student Intern, VERTICES, LLC