Arboviral Disease Surveillance in Kansas
Arboviral diseases are those that are spread from arthropods, such as mosquitoes and ticks to humans. Many of these diseases are reportable, when diagnosed in people, to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KDHE conducts mosquito surveillance, in conjunction with partners, from May – October.
West Nile Virus Surveillance
West Nile virus is the most common mosquito borne disease in Kansas and the United States. Therefore the focus on mosquito surveillance has been for West Nile virus (WNV). Since WNV first emerged in Kansas in 2002, Sedgwick County has historically had the most human cases, and most severe form of the disease, of any county in our state. Therefore mosquito surveillance was consolidated to Sedgwick County in 2013. Several species of mosquitoes are responsible for transmission of arboviruses but Culex species are the primary vector for West Nile virus in Kansas and the United States. We use this data as a proxy for mosquito activity for the entire state.
West Nile Mosquito Surveillance Results
The Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) traps mosquitoes weekly at 9 sites in and around the Wichita metropolitan area. The mosquitoes are identified and counted. Female Culex spp. mosquitoes are sent to the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories for testing. Each week we report the total number of mosquitoes and number of Culex spp. mosquitoes collected.. An increase in mosquitoes, especially Culex spp. may indicate an increased risk of West Nile virus transmission. This year’s mosquito surveillance began May 18, 2016.
*Week of June 15, only 8 traps were collected.
Zika Virus Surveillance
Zika virus disease is caused by the Zika virus, which is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect call microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Zika virus can also be spread through sexual contact. Learn more about Zika virus at http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.
There has been no local transmission of Zika virus in Kansas or the continental Unied States.
The two mosquitoes that can spread Zika virus are Aedes albopictus and Ae. aegypti. Both are non-native, invasive mosquito species. Although these mosquitoes have been identified in Kansas the precise range of these mosquitoes is unknown.
Zika Virus Mosquito Survey
The Kansas Biological Survey (KBS) will conduct a survey to determine the range of Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus in Kansas. KBS will begin the survey in Cherokee County (far southeast corner of Kansas), and move north and west. This survey will begin the week of May 18, 2016 and continue for 24 weeks. A map of the location , by county, of these mosquitoes will be updated weekly and posted on this website.
Visit our Zika virus page to learn more about this virus and important prevention messages. http://www.kdheks.gov/zika/index.htm.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
Fight the Bite! Avoid mosquito bites by following the three Ds: DRAIN (eliminate standing water where mosquitoes live and breed), DRESS (cover your skin with clothing when outdoors) and DEET (use insect repellents that contain DEET).
- 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 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.
- Mosquito Control Capacity Survey
- Arboviral Disease Surveillance – Kansas - 2014
- Arboviral Disease Surveillance – Kansas - 2013
- Arboviral Disease Surveillance – Kansas - 2012
- Rapid Mosquito Surveillance in Response to Floods - 2011
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
Zika virus - http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html
Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Information about West Nile virus in horses - http://www.vet.k-state.edu/VHC/equine/medicine/west.nile.htm
Kansas Department of Health and Environment –
Information on number of cases of any reportable disease - http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/annual_summary.htm