Arboviral Disease Surveillance in Kansas
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment conducts limited arboviral disease surveillance. Arboviral diseases are those that are passed from arthropods, such as mosquitoes and ticks to humans. Many of these diseases are reportable, when diagnosed in people, to KDHE. The Kansas Biological Survey conducts mosquito surveillance in select counties from May — September. The Army conducts mosquito surveillance at Fort Riley and those results are shared with KDHE. The mosquitoes are tested for West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, and La Crosse encephalitis virus at the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories.
This data is for informational purposes only and should not be used to determine risk of disease as cases, in the past, have been diagnosed in most areas of Kansas. KDHE recommends that all people who live, work or visit Kansas should take the following precautions to protect against mosquito and tick bites, the best way to prevent disease;
- Use insect repellent containing DEET or picaridin on skin. Follow label directions.
- Empty standing water from tarps, old tires, buckets and other places where rainwater is trapped. Use larvicide in low-lying areas where water cannot be removed. Refresh water for bird baths, pet bowls and wading pools at least every three days.
- Limit outdoor activities at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear protective clothing when practical (long sleeves and pants). Clothing should be light-colored to make ticks more visible. When hiking, wear a long-sleeved shirt tucked into pants, long pants tucked into high socks, and over-the-ankle shoes to keep ticks out.
- Regularly mow lawns and cut brush. Ticks like to hide in overgrown, shady areas.
- When hiking, walk in the middle of trails, away from tall grass and bushes.
- Check yourself every eight hours for ticks when outside for extended periods of time. Promptly remove a tick if one is found. If you find a tick, grasp the tick with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and slowly pull it straight out. Do not crush or puncture the tick and try to avoid touching the tick with your bare hands. Thoroughly disinfect the bite area and wash your hands immediately after removal.
For more information on arboviral disease surveillance in Kansas call the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Response section at 1-785-296-1059 or e-mail at EpiHotline@kdheks.gov.
Kansas Biological Survey - http://kbs.ku.edu/
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention –
Arbonet Maps - http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/usgs_frame.html
La Crosse encephalitis - http://www.cdc.gov/lac/
St. Louis encephalitis - http://www.cdc.gov/sle/
West Nile virus -http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm
American Association of Equine Practitioners
Information about West Nile virus in horses - http://www.aaep.org/wnv.htm
Kansas Department of Health and Environment –
Information on number of cases of any reportable disease - http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/annual_summary.htm