Zika virus disease (Zika) is caused by an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has no specific medical treatment or vaccine. The virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito in the Aedes genus, the same mosquito responsible for transmitting yellow fever, dengue fever and chikungunya viruses. The symptoms of the illness are generally mild, but Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects including microcephaly. In addition, infection may also be linked to neurological disorders such as Guillain-Barré syndrome. Zika virus was first isolated in 1947 from a rhesus monkey in Uganda’s Zika forest, but the first human cases of Zika were not detected until 1952. In 2007, a large epidemic of Zika virus was reported in Yap Island and Guam, Micronesia. In 2013 and 2014 multiple epidemics were reported in several Pacific Islands. By May 2015, the Zika virus was reported in Brazil as well as several countries of South and Central America and the Caribbean. Only eight months later, Brazil totaled nearly 30,000 reported cases of infection. The virus is now widespread in Brazil, and is continuing to spread throughout the Americas as well as the Oceania and Pacific Islands.
In January 2016, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued travel guidance on affected countries, including the use of enhanced precautions, and guidelines for pregnant women including considering postponing travel. As of late July 2016, the first cases of mosquito transmitted Zika were found in Southern Florida, a few blocks north of downtown Miami. As a result of these locally transmitted cases, the CDC has issued additional guidance for people living in and traveling to the affected areas near Miami.
Since the spread of Zika to the Americas, NPMA has taken a leading role to educate its professional pest management members, legislators, regulators and the public on the importance of proper mosquito control. In an effort to provide you with the most comprehensive suite of resources, NPMA has compiled and categorized the below collateral for your convenience. Should you have any questions as they relate to mosquito biology, control of pest management methods, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 800.678.6722 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Education & Training:
Zika and Mosquito Management Online Training: This 30 minute interactive course provides an overview of Zika virus, information on the biology and behavior of the mosquitoes that transmit Zika, and recommendations for managing those mosquitoes. Although this training is intended for pest management professionals, participants outside the pest management industry will find this module both beneficial and informative.
Zika 4 Part Webinar Series: This program focused extensively on the Zika virus covered a broad range of educational topics including mosquito biology, behavior and control, backyard mosquito business models, consumer messaging and an update from representatives at the CDC on efforts to combat the virus.
In addition to the live 3.5 hour webinar videos that can be accessed by clicking on the above link, panelists share their presentations that can be downloaded below:
Zika Technical Bulletin: As an insert in the Monthly PestWorld Magazine, NPMA recently produced a Library Update titled Zika Virus and Container-Breeding Mosquito Control. This four page technical bulletin focuses on Zika, the U.S distribution of yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), provides information on personal protection from mosquitoes and pest management strategies to manage mosquitoes and eliminate breeding locations.
Pests Without Borders Video: This new 60-second public service announcement focuses on pests as vectors of disease and the positive impact that professional pest control has on the quality of life enjoyed here in the United States.
Applying Insect Repellent Correctly Video This two-minute video, designed for consumers, demonstrates the correct way to apply mosquito repellent.
One Page Handout on Repellents: This piece provides customers with information on the most effective repellents and active ingredients to check for before purchasing any products.
One Page Handout on Mosquito Breeding Conditions: Are your consumers unknowingly attracting mosquitoes to their property? Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a ½ inch of standing water, so even items containing water the size of a bottle cap may be mosquito magnets. This handout depicts the areas round a home that may be prone to mosquitoes.
Regulatory and Policy Information:
ASPCRO/AAPCO Zika Survey of State Lead Agencies: The Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) and the American Association of Pesticide Control Officials (AAPCO) collaborated on a joint survey of state lead agencies to determine regulatory structures in each state. Below are links to the survey results in various formats:
Zika Funding Update: After months of urging Congress to take action to combat the spread of the Zika Virus, Congress left for an extended summer recess without any action. H.R. 2577, the Appropriations Package that included $1.1 billion in funding for the Zika Virus, failed to overcome a procedural hurdle in the U.S. Senate (52-44). The measure had previously passed the U.S. House of Representatives but needed Senate approval to be sent to President Obama’s desk. Both President Obama and Senate Democrats publicly stated they would not approve the current Zika funding measure as presented due to political components of the package including: defunding parts of Obamacare, defunding Planned Parenthood and a controversial confederate flag provision.
On August 1st the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will begin making awards totaling nearly $60 million to states, cities, and territories to support efforts to protect Americans from Zika virus disease. The funding will support activities to protect the health of the American public via epidemiologic surveillance and investigation, improving mosquito control and monitoring, and strengthening laboratory capacity.
NPMA is continuing to work with industry allies and state regulators to urge for the appropriation of additional funds when Congress returns in September.
Certification Requirements to Perform Mosquito Control in Florida: The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services licenses individuals who conduct mosquito control.
Florida Department of Health’s Zika page: The Florida Department of Health has compiled great educational materials for homeowners on Mosquitoes and Zika. Scroll toward the bottom of the page and click on the link for “Resources and References.”
For additional information concerning your state specific pesticide regulations and regulator contact information click here.
Certification Requirements to Perform Mosquito Control in Texas: The Texas Department of Agriculture licenses individuals who conduct mosquito control.
Texas Department of Health’s Zika page: The Texas Department of Health State Services has setup a dedicated website with consumer resources, breaking news, Zika cases by county and information on prevention from mosquito bites and reducing mosquito breading habitats.