Public health confronts the mosquito : developing sustainable state and local mosquito control programs : recommendations of the Mosquito Control Collaborative
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Public health confronts the mosquito : developing sustainable state and local mosquito control programs : recommendations of the Mosquito Control Collaborative

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    Mosquito control is an important and basic public health function. The rapid spread of West Nile virus across the U.S. in the last five years demonstrates the continuing need for organized mosquito control activities. States and local communities are challenged to develop and maintain these essential vector control programs, especially in tight budgetary times and when emergency situations have quieted.

    In response to needs voiced by the public and impacted communities, as well as the public health and mosquito control communities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases sponsored ASTHO to develop a set of recommendations for creating sustainable state and local mosquito control programs. Because mosquito control involves many players, ASTHO convened the Mosquito Control Collaborative (MCC or the Collaborative), a body comprised of state, local, and federal representatives from public health, environmental, and agricultural agencies, as well as other organizations intimately involved with vector control and public health. Because mosquito control efforts begin at the community level, ASTHO invited the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) to join the project as a partner.

    The following document consists of the recommendations developed by the MCC from February through December 2004. The purpose of this document is to serve as a catalyst for discussion and as a working document for public health practitioners and policy makers. The recommendations are not meant to answer all questions or meet all needs related to mosquito control. They will, however, be a tool for the public health community as it determines and solidifies the relationship between mosquito control and public health. West Nile virus epidemics have taken a heavy toll on our communities and on public health. The challenges of dealing with the virus have reinforced the role that public health can play in the community—working with community partners and other agencies to protect the public’s health from mosquito-borne diseases. Public health agencies will not always be the lead agency in mosquito control; their role will depend on the nature of the community and the circumstances. Public health, however, must be actively involved in mosquito control when the public’s health is threatened. In addition, public health leaders and policy makers can reinforce the need for infrastructure that supports a long-term ability to cope with mosquito control on a continual basis at the community and state levels.

    A project of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, supported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the CDC Cooperative Agreement to Improve the Nation’s Public Health Agencies/Systems–Special Project Mosquito Control (Cooperative Agreement #U50/CCU313903-06).

    CDC staff Roger Nasci, Mary Ellen Fernandez, and Tracy Badsgard provided important guidance and support throughout the project.

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