Wednesday, May 11, 2016

DC Dept of Health measures addressing the Zika virus

From: Teri Janine
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:05 PM
Subject: Fwd: In Response to Your Concerns of Mosquitoes

As promised at Bates & Bloomingdale  Civic Association meetings, please find attached a response from the Department of Health regarding measures the District is/will take to address the Zika virus. Please share with the community. There are related documents attached. In addition here's a link to a related Washington Post article:


Teri Janine Quinn 
President, Bloomingdale Civic Association

Begin forwarded message:
From: "Richardson, Shakira (DOH)" <>
To: "Quinn, Teri Janine (SMD 5E06)" <>
In Response to Your Concerns of Mosquitoes

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your questions and concerns surrounding mosquitoes in the District.  At this time, the DC Department of Health (DOH) has reviewed its Arbor Virus surveillance program protocols, which currently tests for the West Nile Virus carried by mosquitoes.  Measures have been taken to include testing for the Zika Virus in the mosquito population, as well as, several other viruses that the mosquito is the known zoonotic vector.  The surveillance program will also be extending this year to include surveillance of mosquitoes from April through October 2016.

The benefit of extending the surveillance period is to provide a more comprehensive Arbor Virus Surveillance Program that will provide valuable data regarding the prevalence of diseases within the District that are transmitted through mosquitoes to humans.  Mosquitoes are typically active beginning in April and are found in the adult stage through the end of October (or until the first hard frost).  

The District surveillance program is designed to evaluate all mosquito species acting as vectors for zoonotic diseases including aedes aegyptus.  Attached above is the most updated information regarding the District’s surveillance program and educational information in reference to mosquitoes.

Additional Background

In addition, the District is assembling a more comprehensive mosquito control program with the use of mosquito larvacide.  Additional sites of larvicide application and routine treatment of these sites will be executed by the vector control team to include know areas of concern with regard to standing water.  Furthermore, DOH has developed a program, which will provide residents the opportunity to acquire larvicide and literature explaining mosquito prevention and protection which will become available during the spring season 2016 at designated public/community areas (attached above).

Please note that the application of larvicide targets the mosquito larval stage of the life cycle in an effort to prevent its development into a mature adult mosquito.  The District does not spray against adult mosquitoes because many of the pesticides used for this purpose are highly detrimental and toxic to the health of many of our asthmatic residents and can create respiratory conditions within the human population.  In addition, many pesticides are detrimental to animals, plants and insects that are not intended targets and that are vital to our ecosystem. It is recommended that residents rid their properties of standing water to eliminate mosquito breeding sites which will remove the incentive for the pests to hang around. Please forward the addresses where you have noticed standing water so that an investigator can complete a site visit and assess.  If you have any other questions or concerns Please feel free to contact me directly.

Shakira Richardson


Government of the District of Columbia

Dept. of Health/Bureau of Community Hygiene

Animal Services Program

Board of Veterinary Medicine
899 North Capitol St. NE  2nd Floor

Washington DC 20002

(202) 535-2321 office

(202) 442-4817 fax


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