Have you been affected by West Nile virus? If you suspect that you or a family member have had West Nile virus either this year or in previous years,
North Fork Mosquito Abatement District (NFMAD) wants to hear from you. Even if your case was mild, or not confirmed by a blood test, your information is important.
Gary and Rain Klepper are spearheading the effort to accumulate medical histories related to West Nile virus. They want to know if you believe that symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, headache, joint pain, blurred vision, etc. may have been caused by a mosquito bite.
Gary and Rain Klepper have each had healthcare practices for over 30 years. This current undertaking falls neatly into their years'-long focus of studying infectious illness patterns throughout North America.
"The data we need to understand what is really going on is not gathered by health departments or the CDC," NFMAD board member Rain Klepper explains. "It's more complex than that. To eradicate West Nile virus in our valley, we have to go deeper."
In the November meeting of NFMAD, Klepper outlined the strategy for 2013:
• Collection of West Nile virus-related medical information in the district;
• Synthesis of 2012 data from NFMAD and other regions affected by West Nile virus, and;
• A cooperative plan of action.
In addition to the local medical histories, Klepper stressed that looking back at 2012 data would be essential to understanding what is really happening across the country.
Klepper explained that Utah and Texas represent opposite ends of the spectrum with respect to effective mosquito control. "These two extremes can serve as examples of what to do and what's not effective," she said. "We need to understand how Utah can eliminate West Nile virus from a majority of its counties while Texas has seen an unusually high number of deaths and neurological symptoms from West Nile virus.
"In Delta County, we want to emulate the successes of the Utah mosquito programs," said Klepper.
Meanwhile the NFMAD board members, staff, and volunteers are already working diligently on consolidating and analyzing the data associated with breeding-site treatment and the associated costs, adult mosquito trapping results, and West Nile virus test data gathered over the year. A second new board member, Glenn Austin, is meeting with the Department of Public Health to ascertain the distribution of human West Nile virus cases in Delta County.
Mapping all of this information will be the foundation from which NFMAD can develop a cooperative plan of action with the towns, county officials, and business leaders, as well as individuals of the North Fork Valley.
"It's time to join forces to make our community safe from mosquito-borne illness," stated Klepper.
A preliminary action plan for the 2013 mosquito season will be presented at the January meeting of NFMAD.blog comments powered by Disqus