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A molecular surveillance-guided vector control response to dengue and West Nile virus

Proactive mosquito surveillance critical for preventing arbovirus outbreaks in Florida. Read the article for more information.

Please briefly read this research’s abstract, A molecular surveillance-guided vector control response to concurrent dengue and West Nile virus outbreaks in a COVID-19 hotspot of Florida

Please read the abstract of the paper published by Dr Heather Coatsworth (link). This is an interesting report about the relationship between vector-borne disease and covid-19, a serious pandemic. It shows that the outbreak of covid-19 also affects the outbreak of the dengue virus and west nile virus.

In 2020, simultaneous outbreaks of two viruses, dengue and West Nile, occurred in Florida, resulting in numerous human cases. Researchers aimed to identify the distribution of the arbovirus-positive mosquito pools and determine whether they were associated with neighbourhoods where imported DENV cases had been reported recently.

To achieve this, they collected and screened mosquitoes from Miami-Dade County for both viruses and used spatial statistical analyses to determine the mosquito pool distribution in relation to various factors, including land use, human demographics, environmental variables, mosquito trap placement, and reported human travel-associated DENV cases.

The researchers detected four DENV-2, nine DENV-4, and nine WNV-positive mosquito pools from their rapid screening of 7,668 mosquitoes. This allowed for swift and targeted abatement of trap sites by mosquito control. As anticipated, DENV-positive pools were primarily found in urban areas, but the unexpected finding was the presence of WNV-positive mosquito pools in agricultural and recreational areas with no historical reports of WNV transmission.

The findings from this study highlight the importance of proactive arbovirus surveillance in mosquito populations to prevent and control outbreaks, especially when other diseases such as COVID-19 present with similar symptoms. Furthermore, the high prevalence of dengue infection in mosquitoes in the absence of local index cases suggests a higher level of dengue endemicity in Florida than previously recognized. Since vector-borne disease is harmful to human health, it’s an issue which relates to SDG 3 and should be controlled. We’ve learned from the lesson and the report that resources for control are needed, but are insufficient when another disease outbreak is urgent to control.

How would you deal with this situation? What measures can be taken to improve proactive arbovirus surveillance in mosquito populations, and how can these efforts be integrated into existing public health systems to prevent and control outbreaks?

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Sustainable Development in Health and Ecology

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