The Defense Department will monitor installations in 27 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico for mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus, according to a Pentagon memo released in March.
Hoping to ward off spread of the potentially dangerous virus among troops and military family members, senior defense officials have instructed installation managers to increase surveillance for certain mosquito species and to eradicate them in housing areas, near child development and youth centers, around barracks and elsewhere.
According to the memo, 190 DoD installations are located in areas where mosquitoes capable of carrying Zika — aedes aegypti, aedes albopictus and aedes polynesiensis — may spread during the summer.
The memo calls for monitoring, trapping, testing and eliminating water sources that can act as breeding grounds for the pests.
“This must be a sustained effort in order to reduce and control the population … failure to implement a coordinated, sustained control effort will allow for a [mosquito population] that could transmit Zika,” wrote Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs Dr. Jonathan Woodson and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Basing Peter Potochney.
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Image courtesy of New Scientist
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