An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect on July 23, 2014 for La Paz, Maricopa, Pinal, and Yuma Counties until July 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM. Learn more about how to stay safe in extreme heat and stay informed about future heat alerts.

Border Infectious Disease Surveillance (BIDS)

Vector-Borne Disease Surveillance

Training on enhanced Dengue diagnostics at Arizona State Public Health Laboratory- Photo Courtesy of Sonia Montiel, CDC/DGMQ

What are vector-borne diseases?

Vector-borne diseases, such as Malaria, West Nile Virus (WNV), dengue, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, are transmitted through the bite of an infected vector such as a mosquito or tick. Some of these viral, bacterial, or parasitic infections have been established in the U.S., such as WNV and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Outbreaks of other vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, are reported frequently outside of the U.S. Many of these diseases are increasing threats to humans due to environmental changes and globalization.

Overview of BIDS vector-borne disease projects

BIDS works on several vector-borne disease projects targeted at understanding more about West Nile Virus (WNV) and dengue. Both of these arboviral diseases (viral infections transmitted by mosquitos) present with similar symptoms including fever, headache, and body aches.

In the summer of 2012, BIDS received funding to enhance the current WNV hospital surveillance and initiate Dengue surveillance in the border counties. In order to understand more about the potential for WNV and dengue transmission in Arizona, the following activities will take place:

  • October 2012: CDC Dengue Branch Laboratory Diagnostics Workshop held with border state laboratories.
  • December 2012- August 2013: A sero-survey of symptomatic patients presenting to hospitals
    • Providing arboviral testing for WNV and dengue Elisa on all samples
    • Additionally planning to use PCR when capacity developed
  • January 2013- Administer local survey to evaluate healthcare providers’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding dengue and WNV.
  • Collaboration with the Pima County Health Department and University of Arizona Colleges of Public Health and Entomology to better understand the populations and potential for transmission among trapped Aedes Aegypti vectors in Arizona.