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St. Clair County Health Department Launches Field Surveillance For Ticks and Mosquitoes

The St. Clair County Health Department (SCCHD) has been awarded its second consecutive grant from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Disease Section to conduct weekly field surveillance of the invasive Aedes mosquito and Ixodes tick.

The goal of the statewide program is to develop a systematic field surveillance system among Michigan local health departments to better prepare communities if the establishment of these species is imminent, or if local vector-borne transmission risk is present. Increased surveillance in St. Clair County provides the ability to accurately track and monitor local Aedes and Ixodes population growth and dispersal.

Steve Demick, Environmental Health Director, said, “Staff will execute the program by setting out mosquito traps weekly throughout the summer and conducting targeted tick surveillance at local parks. This information will be used for the purpose of preventing potential local virus transmission and to help St. Clair County residents make informed decisions and behavior changes about the risks related to mosquitoes and ticks.”

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In 2017 and 2018, Michigan identified Aedes mosquitoes in two commercial tire distribution locations in Wayne County. Recent identifications of Aedes mosquitoes in the region raises questions of potential Zika vector survival in Michigan. In addition, based upon human case and field surveillance, Lyme disease risk is increasing across Michigan as tick populations continue to emerge.

For Michigan mosquito and tick surveillance information, visit www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases, SCCHD’s website at www.scchealth.co or contact the Environmental Health Division at (810) 987-5306. Follow us on social media @scchdmi.

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