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.


 
 

 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

M4/M9 Firing Range closure The Edwards AFB Combat Arms Firing Range is closed for M4 and M9 firing until further notice. Any required firing for PCS or deployments will temporarily be accomplished at March ARB, Calif. To schedule training, contact the Combat Arms section at 661-277-2103. It is strongly recommended that all firing be scheduled as soon...
 
 
town-hall

Edwards community holds town hall meeting

Air Force photograph by Jena Romo Col. Eric Leshinksy, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses the audience at a town hall meeting Oct. 15 at the Airmen and Family Readiness Center. The Edwards community gathered at th...
 
 
Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs

Online vigilance helps reduce risk

Instagram by Master Sgt. Sonny Cohrs The Air Force reminds us not to post information about deployment departures, locations, and on-going operations. However, even a simple photo of your family pet can reveal personal informat...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Gathering of Eagles honors 70 years of TPS

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Brig. Gen. Michael Brewer, 412th Test Wing commander, offered the closing remarks for the event, reminding the audience that fundraiser is about preparing for the future. The Flight Test Hi...
 
 
commissary

Giving ‘gift of groceries’? Think Commissary gift cards

No matter the occasion, Commissary gift cards are always available to help family members, friends and organizations give the gift of groceries. “Our gift cards are versatile,” said Randy Chandler, the Defense Commi...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Christian Turner

AFMC command chief visits with Edwards Airmen

Air Force photograph by Christian Turner Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Warner, Air Force Materiel Command command chief, speaks to enlisted Airmen at Club Muroc Oct. 15. Warner held two enlisted calls speaking to junior Airmen i...
 




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>