Analysis of express legal authorities for mosquito control in the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico
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Analysis of express legal authorities for mosquito control in the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico

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      As vector-borne diseases have tripled over the past thirteen years in the United States, efforts to prevent their incidence and spread are as important as ever. Many of these diseases, such as chikungunya, dengue, West Nile virus, yellow fever, and Zika virus, are spread by mosquitoes. The United States has a long history of combating mosquito-borne diseases and public health officials have established many mosquito control programs and activities to both reduce the number of mosquitoes and prevent the spread of the diseases they carry. It is important for those who lead and conduct mosquito control activities to have a well-grounded understanding of the laws and policies authorizing their efforts since failing to realize and adhere to a program’s legal authority can lead to agency liability and undue costs.

      To assist those who oversee, lead, and administer mosquito control efforts, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) conducted an analysis of the express legal authorities for mosquito control in the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Below is a brief overview of the types of legal authority for mosquito control activities, a set of considerations for better understanding the legal authority, a summary of the findings on the express legal authorities for mosquito control found in state law, and a state-by-state summary of the express legal authority for mosquito control in the United States, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

      ASTHO acknowledges the technical support from its Public Health Law Peer Group, its Vector Control Workgroup, and the National Association of Vector-Borne Disease Control Officials (NAVCO) in creating this second edition. ASTHO is grateful for the financial support and technical assistance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The project received direct funding through the CDC Cooperative Agreement to Improve the Nation’s Public Health Infrastructure with State Public Health Agencies/Systems, Award No. CDC-RFA-OT13-1302CONT17

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