An Important Announcement From The AMCA
Mosquito Control Continues To Protect Public Health During Coronavirus Outbreak
Mosquito-borne disease control increases in importance to reduce the severity of COVID-19
Sacramento, CA – 23 March 2020 – The current lockdowns in place meant to curtail the spread of coronavirus will not preclude the performance of essential mosquito control activities in the United States. Despite the emphasis on testing and treating COVID-19 patients, we can’t lose sight of the fact that other debilitating and potentially fatal diseases transmitted by mosquitoes may also potentially infect our citizens.
“Studies have shown that factors contributing to potentially serious or fatal outcomes attendant to COVID-19 infection involve underlying medical issues, such as neurologic conditions that weaken the ability to cough or an already-stressed immune system due to concurrent infection by mosquito-borne viruses,” says Joseph Conlon, Technical Advisor to the American Mosquito Control Association. Mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile virus and dengue have not disappeared as COVID-19 has usurped the media landscape. As potential contributors to severe outcomes, their prevention/control becomes even more critical. “Fortunately, mosquitoes have not been shown to transmit COVID-19,” says Conlon, “However, mosquitoes can factor into the severity of the disease. Thus, it is crucial that we maintain robust measures to reduce their numbers.”
It’s important to remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance. Their bites can spread diseases such as Zika and West Nile Virus – and more as yet to reach our shores in the future. “We already have the mosquitoes. We are continually importing the diseases they carry,” says Conlon. “We must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape – and this requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in the community.” It is even more critical now in light of the COVID-19 threat.
While organized mosquito control activities are vital to reducing human-mosquito contact, Conlon expresses the importance of public action. “We promote integrated, effective, and sustainable mosquito control as the key to enhancing the public’s quality of life.” The general public can make substantial contributions to their own safety by following “the 3 D’s”:
- Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
- Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
- Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon-eucalyptus or any other EPA-registered repellent
About the American Mosquito Control Association
Celebrating 85 years of protecting public health in 2020, the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) is an international not-for-profit public service professional association. With over 1,600 members worldwide in over 50 countries, AMCA is international in scope and includes individuals and public agencies engaged in mosquito control, mosquito research, and related activities. Please visit AMCA online at www.mosquito.org and follow AMCA on Twitter @AMCAupdates.