Does mosquito control reduce mosquito-borne disease? A Ross River virus example from Australia.
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This paper reports the results of a study to assess the effect of mosquito control strategies on the incidence of Ross River virus, a polyarthritic disease transmitted by mosquitoes. Although several mosquito species are implicated in its transmission, the major vectors are the salt marsh mosquito Aedes vigilax (Skuse) and the freshwater species Culex annulirostris Skuse. The four areas reported here are in eastern Queensland, selected by Koeppen climate class to minimise the effects of climatic variation. The disease data were obtained from the Queensland State Health department and mosquito control information was collected from Local Government Authorities by survey, using a structured questionnaire. Mosquito control practices were categorized according to their surveillance protocols and treatment regimes, and Analysis of Variance was used to compare the mosquito control types to long-term disease incidence. The results showed that long-term RRV disease incidence was lowest in areas with programs that included routine and pre-emptive surveillance combined with extensive treatment of both saltwater and freshwater mosquito habitat. It is concluded that integrated programs that include surveillance and treat all major habitats of the vectors can have a significant effect on the incidence on mosquito borne disease, in this case RRV.
American Mosquito Control Association Meeting, April, 2009. New Orleans.