Local

August 30, 2013

412th AMDS takes measure to keep West Nile Virus out

Tags:
Rebecca Amber
Staff writer

Staff Sgt. Dawann Johnson, 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, hangs a Solid-State Army Miniature (SSAM) trap at Branch Pond. The traps are designed to hang from a rope tied to a tree branch or similar surface and attract mosquitoes and other bugs to be tested. Johnson runs the Food Sanitation and Entomology programs on base. He is responsible for pest management and surveillance. Johnson is tasked with trapping mosquitoes on base that can be tested for West Nile Virus.

The Antelope Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed a coop of chickens tested positive for West Nile Virus in Lancaster, Calif., in June. The coop is located near 15th Street West and Avenue I.

West Nile Virus is an abro-virus, closely related to encephalitis, an untreatable and deadly viral disease primarily transmitted by mosquitoes. While most people do not show signs of West Nile Virus, some may experience severe headaches, fever, nausea, vomiting and chills. Symptoms typically occur within two to 15 days from exposure and there is no human vaccine for the disease.

Mosquitoes are infected when they bite other animals, such as birds, carrying the disease. There is no evidence that other carriers can transmit the disease to humans and it is not spread by person to person contact.

Staff Sgt. Dawann Johnson, 412th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, runs the Food Sanitation and Entomology programs on base. He is responsible for pest management and surveillance. Johnson is tasked with trapping mosquitoes on base that can be tested for West Nile Virus.

“We haven’t caught any with West Nile in the last three years,” said Johnson.

He explained that mosquitoes are attracted to cool damp environments. The traps he sets are generally placed in areas with standing water like Branch Park, the golf course and Fam Camp. The traps are designed to hang from a rope tied to a tree branch or similar surface. Each one has a small light to attract the mosquitoes or other bugs. Once the insect reaches the light it is pushed down into a cylindrical net by a small battery-operated fan. When the trap is retrieved, the net is tied off and returned for testing.

Staff Sgt. Cedric Lanier, 412th AMDS, said that the traps are place in a freezer for 30 minutes before they can be observed under a microscope. “We predominately look for the females because they are more likely to bite,” said Lanier.

If 10 or more mosquito samples are found, they will be packaged and shipped to the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, for evaluation. A detailed report will be sent back which tells how many of each variety of mosquitoes were caught and which might have the potential for carrying West Nile Virus. According to Lanier, there have been very few mosquito samples trapped this year.

The following guidelines are recommended to reduce mosquito exposure:

  • Drain any standing water and check small containers weekly
  • Keep pools and spas chlorinated or drained and repair any leaks
  • Wear loose fitting clothing outdoors and apply a mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picardin, Oil of Lemon Ecalyptus or IR3535. Always adhere to instructions on product labels and never apply repellent to a child’s hands and be careful to avoid the mouth and eyes
  • Avoid outdoor actives at dusk and dawn, which are peak times for mosquito exposure



All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Holiday Hours

Special holiday hours will be in force for 412th Force Support Squadron facilities. The hours are: Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 27 All 412th FSS facilities will be CLOSED except the following: * Aero Club: Flying sunrise to sunset, office closed * Joshua Tree Dining Facility: Brunch 6 a.m.-1 p.m., Dinner 4:30-7 p.m., and Midnight Meal...
 
 

New allotment rule protects troops from lending scams

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed a policy change in new paycheck allotments to prevent unscrupulous commercial lenders from taking advantage of troops and their families, Pentagon officials said Nov. 21. According to a Defense Department news release, effective Jan. 1, 2015, the change in DOD’s financial management regulation will prohibit service members from allotting...
 
 

Exchange gift cards personalize holiday care packages

According to a recent National Retail Federation survey, gift cards will be the most requested gift this year with 62 percent preferring a gift card over any other item. For Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines, their gift card of choice is the one that can be redeemed at military exchanges from Okinawa to Oklahoma. The...
 

 

AF closes FY14 force management programs

Airmen who met the service’s reduction in force board were notified of the board’s results Nov. 19, bringing the fiscal year 2014 force management programs to an end. The RIF board selected 354 captains and majors across the Air Force for non-retention, half of the number the service previously projected it would separate. Line of...
 
 

Protecting your identity online

With the internet ever evolving, it has become a great source of communication and a convenient tool. While there are many advantages in using the internet, like online shopping or making charitable donations, there are also countless numbers of unknown, lurking threats. One of luxuries of the internet, and a great service for busy parents,...
 
 

Eagle Eyes promotes community’s involvement in security

Security forces defend the base, but everyone can help ensure Edwards Air Force Base is safe and sound through the Air Force Office of Special Investigations Eagle Eyes program. Law enforcement officers rely on the eyes and ears of the entire community. If Airmen or citizens notice anything out of the norm or suspicious, either...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>