Location: Mosquito and Fly Research Unit
Title: A GIS Early Warning System to Detect Elevated Populations of Vectors of Rift Valley Fever and the Contributions from Florida's Mosquito Control Community Authors
Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 17, 2006
Publication Date: May 17, 2006
Citation: Britch, S.C., Linthicum, K. 2006. A gis early warning system to detect elevated populations of vectors of rift valley fever and the contributions from florida's mosquito control community. Proc. of the Florida Mosquito Control Association; St. Petersburg Beach, FL; May 17-18, 2006. Technical Abstract: New and emerging mosquito-borne viruses such as Rift Valley fever (RVF) virus pose a global threat to animal and human health. An introduction of RVF into the U.S. could severely impact livestock industries and wild ungulates, and cause significantly more human illness than West Nile virus (WNV). Unlike WNV there is no approved RVF vaccine for animals or humans and the virus could spread rapidly not just by mosquitoes, but also by contact with infected tissues. One approach to preparing for new mosquito-borne diseases is to know more about the vectors. We are developing a GIS-based early warning system that flags areas of the U.S. at risk for elevated vector populations. The system is driven by the association between long-term changes in mosquito populations and changes in climate at the local, national, and global level. The association is analyzed using mosquito surveillance data collected by mosquito control and public health agencies, and climate data measured by satellites and terrestrial weather stations. We have received data from several counties in Florida and we will continue to make data requests to cover the whole state and other regions of the U.S. The product of the early warning system will be predictions of vector population densities that may be used to coordinate and target vector control and disease containment strategies in the event RVF is detected. The system is easily adapted to provide information on vectors of any mosquito-borne disease, and can be used by mosquito control agencies to inform routine control activities.