April 21, 1995
MOSQUITO SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL GRANTS ANNOUNCED
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has awarded grants totalling $140,000 to 14 local health departments to assist with surveillance and control of Asian tiger mosquitoes and other container-breeding mosquitoes.
"These grants will aid local health departments in the development and administration of vector control programs," said Dr. John R. Lumpkin, state public health director. "The programs will be used to help us evaluate the threat to the public's health from viruses carried by mosquitoes."
Control efforts will include identification of sites where tires have been stored or discarded; cleanup of non-commercial tire sites; if necessary, legal action to force cleanup; and sampling of mosquitoes found in tires for the presence of viruses.
Container-breeding mosquitoes, such as the tree-hole mosquito and the northern house mosquito, are known to transmit diseases to humans. LaCrosse (California) encephalitis is spread by the tree-hole mosquito and St. Louis encephalitis is transmitted by the northern house mosquito.
LaCrosse and St. Louis encephalitis are serious diseases that affect the brain. LaCrosse encephalitis occurs more often in children, while St. Louis encephalitis is more common among adults. Most victims recover fully, although some may have permanent neurological damage.
There were six cases of LaCrosse encephalitis reported in Illinois last year, but no cases of St. Louis encephalitis.
Symptoms of both disease are similar and usually begin five to 15 days following the bite of an infected mosquito. The symptoms range from a slight fever or headache to rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, muscle aches, stiffness in the back of the neck and disorientation.
The tree-hole mosquito is infected with LaCrosse encephalitis virus by feeding on infected small mammals or when an infected female mosquito transmits the infection to her offspring. The house mosquito is infected with St. Louis encephalitis by feeding on birds that carry the virus.
The Asian tiger mosquito, which arrived in the United States in 1985, apparently in used tires shipped from Japan, has not previously been found to carry any disease that threatens humans in Illinois. In Asia, however, it is a known carrier of dengue, or "breakbone," fever and, in laboratory tests, it has shown an ability to transmit LaCrosse encephalitis. Dengue fever is a painful but non-fatal disease found in the tropics and sub-tropics.
The Asian tiger mosquito has been identified in 13 Illinois counties -- Alexander, Cook, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Kankakee, Macoupin, Madison, Pulaski, Randolph, St. Clair, Union and Williamson. It is a persistent and aggressive biter that breeds in containers that hold water, such as tires, cans and yard ornaments.
The grant money is generated by a $1 per new tire fee that is deposited in the state's Used Tire Management Fund.
The grants were awarded based on several factors, including the presence of the Asian tiger mosquito, large or numerous used tire sites, past cases of mosquito-borne encephalitis, geographic region and population size.
Following is a list of grant recipients and amounts:
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Questions or Comments