Resurgence of West Nile virus in New Orleans or after a storm

Tuesday, November 12, 2013: 3:57 PM
Meeting Room 8 AB (Austin Convention Center)
Claudia Riegel , City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite, and Rodent Control Board, New Orleans, LA
Sarah Michaels , City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board, New Orleans, LA
Andrew Ruiz , City of New Orleans Mosquito, Termite and Rodent Control Board, New Orleans, LA
In April 2012, Culex quinquefasciatus populations were elevated and the earliest West Nile virus (WNV) positive mosquito pool was collected. By June, WNV activity in New Orleans was unprecedented, minimum infection rates peaked at 14.62 and the virus was widespread.  The New Orleans Mosquito and Termite Control Board (NOMTCB) used the guidelines in “Before the Swarm” (ASTHO) to design a multi-faceted response. GIS technology was used to integrate mosquito population and previous human case data to target areas at greatest risk of potential human transmission. Collaborative efforts with partner city agencies, New Orleans Fire, Police, Sanitation and Code Enforcement Departments coordinated for a door-to-door public health awareness campaign in designated WNV risk areas. Additionally, areas with large numbers of abandoned properties, tire dumping and widespread water leaks were identified for source reduction and larvicide applications. Ground and aerial adulticide applications were five times greater than a typical year. A series of press releases were issued, focusing on the elimination of standing water and the use of repellants which was particularly important following Hurricane Isaac, as human exposure was greatly increased. The engagement of community partners assisted in our ability to respond to this crisis, and establishing these partnerships will allow for a coordinated response to other mosquito-borne disease emergencies in the future.