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 January 30, 2015

Annual awards The 412th Test Wing Annual Awards is Feb. 13 at Club Muroc. Cocktails will be served starting at 5 p.m. The theme for this year is “Back to the Future.” Limited tickets are available for nominees and commanders now. The rest of the tickets will be made available to the base Feb. 4....
 
 

Overcoming failures

You will fail. The question is, how will you respond? This reminds me of a parable of the carrot, egg and coffee. A senior airman was distraught when he learned he did not make staff sergeant after his first time testing. His staff sergeant supervisor saw a teaching opportunity and the next day he filled...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

AFFT Museum acquires ‘up-lifting’ aircraft

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Air Force Flight Test museum curators and volunteers have dedicated a section of the museum to highlight NASA’s flight test accomplishments at Edwards, and to complement the latest tempo...
 

 

Love is in bloom with fresh flowers for your Valentine at the Edwards Exchange

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the Edwards Exchange is helping love blossom with fresh floral bouquets available for pickup in the Main Store and Express. Fresh flowers, including roses, will arrive Feb. 12 for Valentine’s Day weekend. “Picking up a fresh bouquet for someone special is as simple as visiting the Exchange,” said General Manager Charles...
 
 
af-marathon

USAF Marathon to increase price in February

If you’re planning on running in the Air Force Marathon this September, time is running out to take advantage of current pricing. The Marathon staff notes that prices will increase on Feb. 2. “We traditionally exper...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Jonathan Case

F-22 pilot reaches 1,000 flight hours

Lockheed Martin photograph by David Henry Steve Rainey, Lockheed Martin F-22 chief test pilot flew his 1,000th hour in an F-22 Raptor, Jan. 22, 2015. Four-year-old Steve Rainey sat on the hood of his father’s car at a loc...
 




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>