CDC Foundation Donors Come Together to Support Summit Focused on Vector Control Strategies for Aedes Aegypti Mosquitoes
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit a variety of dangerous viruses, including yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, which in 2015–2016 spread rapidly in certain parts of the world. Today, new strategies are needed to control these mosquitoes, which are prevalent in many countries with tropical climates and in a number of U.S. states and territories. To further the search for innovative strategies to control Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is hosting a two-day summit, which kicked off today in Atlanta. The CDC Foundation is co-hosting the summit with support from Bayer, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oak Foundation, Orkin and SC Johnson.
The summit, Vector Control Strategies for Aedes aegypti-Transmitted Diseases Summit—Charting the Way Forward, brings together stakeholders from the United States and the international community. At the summit, experts will present on current vector control interventions, such as reducing sources for mosquitoes and treating areas with larvicide and adulticide. In addition, experts will discuss how these interventions may be better utilized and how to measure their impact on the spread of diseases to people. Attendees are sharing their experiences, research and practical perspectives and represent a variety of organizations and sectors, including government, research institutions, practitioners and industry.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been called the “cockroach of mosquitoes.” These mosquitoes live indoors and outdoors, can lay eggs in small amounts of water, bite during the day and night, and bite multiple people during their lifespan, creating the potential to spread viruses if a mosquito is infected. The summit will feature discussions of public health imperatives around vector control, methods for measuring entomologic impact, novel mosquito control solutions and tools, and challenges to implementation of various strategies.
“Addressing a challenge like controlling Aedes aegypti mosquitoes requires the involvement of multiple sectors,” said Judith Monroe, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the CDC Foundation. “We thank all of our donors supporting this summit as we all must work together to find innovative approaches that can be used to safely and effectively control mosquitoes, thus diminishing the impact mosquito-borne diseases have on human health around the world.”
While Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are capable of spreading a variety of diseases, much focus during the past year has been placed on Zika virus, which has spread to 61 countries and territories across the globe. Zika is primarily spread by mosquitoes, but it can also be spread through sex, and the virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Zika infection during pregnancy can cause microcephaly and other severe brain defects and has been linked to other problems such as miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects.
As of February 22, more than 42,000 individuals with lab-confirmed cases of Zika virus disease have been reported in the United States and its territories, according to CDC’s ArboNET. As of February 7, more than 4,600 pregnant women in the United States and its territories have lab evidence of a Zika virus infection. With mosquito season approaching in the United States, it is important to hold events like this summit to coordinate approaches and plot a path forward for vector control to address Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
CDC will develop a report featuring proceedings from the summit, including discussions centered on approaches and innovative ideas brought forward to control Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.