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2008 Model Practice Application (Public)

Practice Title
Emergency Mosquito Surveillance Trailer
Submitting LHD/Agency/Organization
Georgia Division of Public Health

Overview

Georgia is vulnerable to tornadoes, flooding, and other natural and manmade disasters that can and have caused severe disruption of essential human services and severe property damage to public roads, utilities, buildings, parks, and other facilities. Mosquito populations following water-related disasters can increase to a level that they become a public health risk making the restoration of vital services to the citizens of the affected area both dangerous and difficult. Additionally, several mosquito-borne viruses circulate in Georgia each year and are capable of causing disease in humans and other animals. The most common mosquito borne viruses in Georgia include West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, and LaCrosse virus. Saint Louis Encephalitis virus has also been detected in Georgia in the past. The risk of infection with one of these mosquito-borne viruses could increase after a natural or man-made disaster. Most local health departments in Georgia do not have access to mosquito surveillance or control. This project facilitates the movement of resources from the state health department to local health departments where there is a need. In case of a disaster where mosquitoes pose a public health risk, it is important to provide this ability to allow restoration of vital services to the citizens of the affected area.
Responsiveness and Innovation
The public health issue the trailer is used to address is the need for aid in determining the scope of the public health-related mosquito problem, both vector and nuisance species, after a disaster. Most counties in Georgia have no ability to do mosquito surveillance. The trailer holds all the equipment needed for surveillance and also provides a work space for those doing the surveillance. Mosquito surveillance is a necessary step to determine the need for mosquito control. In the case of emergency situations where mosquitoes have become a public health problem, mosquito surveillance is also needed to provide data to agencies such as FEMA in order to get funding to help support emergency control. Some means of transporting needed equipment for mosquito surveillance and providing space to process the mosquitoes is needed, and is not always available. The CDC has used trailers to bring equipment out to research sites in order to collect data, but do not have and were not aware of anyone having a trailer to be used for emergency mosquito surveillance. It is usual for surveillance equipment to be transported in personal vehicles and existing space used to process mosquitoes. This works as long as space and equipment are available. In Georgia, this is not the usual case. If the surveillance activity is short-term, equipment can be carried down to the site and brought back to the lab for processing. This is not possible in an emergency situation where area access might be limited or a long-term stay may be needed. The trailer holds all the equipment needed for surveillance and provides a workspace.
Agency Community Roles
The Emergency Mosquito Surveillance Trailer is a resource for LHD's to use in case of an emergency involving a need for mosquito control and surveillance or where emergency training events are planned. The State Health Department supplies the trailer and an entomologist when requested. Because aerial application of adulticides can have an impact on various businesses on the ground, the agencies and organizations involved in aquaculture, beekeeping, organic farming, etc have been contacted and are involved in the development of spray block maps. These maps provide guidance for large-scale spraying and take into account areas that may need to be exempted. Because this practice deals with an emergency situation where mosquito control is vital for restoration of normal life, community stakeholders are involved in the process through requests to local government for aid. It has been our experience that community meetings are held to let the community know when emergency mosquito control is going to occur.
Costs and Expenditures
Costs are hard to estimate as it depends on how/why the trailer is being used and the resources that the entity using the trailer has available. Start-up costs: Trailer - $28,795.00. Equipment - approximately $20,000. Original funds to purchase the trailer and supplies came from emergency preparedness funds provided through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Implementation
The emergency mosquito surveillance trailer may be requested for use in GDHR-DPH-approved trainings or whenever there is a major disaster that affects, or imminently threatens to affect, a geo-politically recognized level of government. For use in trainings or training exercises, the requesting agency must complete a trailer loan request and provide the GDHR-DPH Medical Entomologist a training announcement, estimated number of participants, and an agenda or summary of training objectives for the event (fax: 404-656-4278). During a disaster the geo-politically recognized governmental entity may request use of the trailer either by proclaiming a local emergency and transmitting a copy of that proclamation along with a completed trailer loan request to the EOC (fax: 404-657- 0602), or by orally communicating a request for mutual aid assistance to the EOC (404-657-6210) followed as soon as practicable by written confirmation of the request.
Sustainability
Since the only way to get reimbursement from agencies such as FEMA in cases where emergency mosquito control is needed to allow the return to normal life is to provide mosquito surveillance data indicating a need for emergency control, and since most counties in Georgia have no means to provide these data, this practice is essential. By making the trailer available for training as well as emergency, the practice should be sustainable long-term. Resource needs are minimal until an emergency occurs. At that point, emergency funding is usually available to sustain this practice. Where the trailer is used for training purposes, the LHD or other agency requesting the use of the trailer is mandated to supply the needed resources to move the trailer to the training site.
Outcome Process Evaluation
June 9, 2007: county official were satisfied with the training event. August 2007: mosquitoes were successfully controlled using data collected, funding was allocated to help pay for mosquito control based on demonstrated need.
Lessons Learned
Key Elements Replication