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  · Guidelines for Surveillance, Prevention, & Control Adobe Acrobat Reader PDF (254 KB/77 pages)  

fictional mosquito swarm, click to see actual photo

Before the Swarm: Guidelines for the Emergency Management of Mosquito-borne Disease Outbreaks

Download "Before the Swarm: Guidelines for the Emergency Management of Mosquito-borne Disease Outbreaks" PDF version formatted for print Adobe Acrobat Reader (3 MB/30 pages)

Mosquito-borne diseases pose a continual threat to the nation’s health. Worldwide, mosquito-borne diseases kill over one million people each year and sicken more than 700 million people annually, which is almost six times the combined total of people who attended a professional basketball, football or baseball game in the United States in 2007. Many of these same diseases already exist in the United States and other dangerous pathogens could be just a plane ride away from entering the country. In response to this threat, this document provides straightforward and realistic guidance to help state and local agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private industry groups prepare for the emergency management of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks.

This document addresses three trigger events (existing diseases, natural disasters, and exotic diseases) that could necessitate an emergency response. Building on the solid foundation established by the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in the report “Public Health Confronts the Mosquito: Developing Sustainable State and Local Mosquito Control Programs”, this document provides analysis and recommendations for countering the threat of mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in five sections:

  • Plan Ahead
  • Involve Others
  • Use the Best Science and Data
  • Inform the Public
  • Responding to a Mosquito-Borne Epidemic Emergency

While emergencies can be extremely challenging, careful planning may avert many difficulties. Mosquito control programs simply cannot respond effectively to exotic diseases, existing pathogens or natural disasters if thorough, deliberate and evidence-based preparation is absent. At the same time, this document provides recommendations for mosquito control in areas with limited resources or a reduced response capacity.

A summary of this document’s recommendations is available in a checklist format as found on the full report Adobe Acrobat Reader (3 MB/30 pages). These recommendations are not designed to be all-encompassing, nor will they necessarily apply to every stakeholder involved in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases and nuisance mosquitoes. Rather, this document’s analysis and recommendations will assist policymakers to make informed decisions on how best to prepare their respective jurisdictions for the dangerous threat that mosquitoes pose to human and animal health, economic prosperity, and overall quality of life.

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