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Local Health Departments from Indiana, Illinois, and Texas Awarded More Than $39K to Build Capacity for Mosquito and Tick Control and Surveillance

May 10, 2023 | NacchoVoice

Washington, DC, May 10, 2023 The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), the voice of the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments, announced the newest cohort of its Vector Control Collaborative mentorship program. Supported by grants of up to $10,000 each, Calhoun County (IL), Marion County (IN), and Bell and Williamson Counties (TX) will work to strengthen their ability to detect and respond to disease threats spread by mosquitoes and ticks. The program is made possible with support by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.

Local public health programs are the front line of defense in protecting their communities from bacterial and viral diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks, including West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Lyme disease. Recent outbreaks highlight the need for more robust vector surveillance and control programs at the local level. In 2021, Arizona experienced the largest outbreak of West Nile virus in the state since starting data collection in 2004, with more than 1,700 confirmed and probable cases reported by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The Vector Control Collaborative, now in its sixth consecutive year, pairs local programs seeking to build capacity in the necessary operational capabilities required for successful vector control and surveillance with programs that show demonstrated expertise in this area. It presents a critical opportunity for peers to address existing and emerging issues related to vector control and integrated pest management by sharing and adopting best practices, shadowing programs through mutual site visits, and attending trainings, among other benefits.

To date, NACCHO has awarded more than 38 Vector Control Collaborative grants across 11 states to train program staff in key functions in mosquito and tick management, build jurisdictional partnerships, and expand program operations. The following are the mentor and mentee teams for the 2023 Cohort, which will each receive up to $10,000 to support their participation in the program.

Mentee: Calhoun County, Illinois

Mentor: Marion County, Indiana

  • Calhoun County will focus on three capabilities during their mentorship: routine mosquito surveillance through standardized trapping and species identification, treatment decisions using surveillance data, and regular communication with local health departments regarding surveillance and epidemiology. They will be working with their mentor, Marion County, the most diverse county in Indiana with experience working in rural areas within their large population. One of Calhoun County’s goals is to implement best practices specific to their small population who are at high risk for vector-borne diseases.

Mentee: Bell County, Texas

Mentor: Williamson County, Texas

  • Bell County is a medium-size county with a population of over 375,000 people. They will focus on three capabilities during their mentorship: routine mosquito surveillance through standardized trapping and species identification, treatment decisions using surveillance data, and regular communication with local health departments regarding surveillance and epidemiology. With their history of floods and previous reports of mosquito-borne disease cases, they plan to use grant funds to reestablish their vector surveillance program with their mentor, Williamson County, the only existing program in Central Texas with staff dedicated to vector surveillance and control. The mentorship between these two counties will be beneficial since they are neighboring local health departments.

The latest cohort began March 2023 and will complete the mentorship program at the end of July. NACCHO will work with participants to collate and promote the lessons learned to other vector control programs across the country.

For more information on the NACCHO Vector Control Program, click here. Visit the 2020 National Vector Control Assessment for updated information on the state of local vector control in the U.S.

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About NACCHO
The National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local health departments. These city, county, metropolitan, district, and tribal departments work every day to protect and promote health and well-being for all people in their communities. For more information about NACCHO, please visit www.naccho.org.


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