ANNAPOLIS, Md., April 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Entomological Society of America (ESA) and Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil (SEB) held a meeting in Brazil on March 13, 2016 to discuss the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the primary transmitter of Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
The experts agreed that the most critical needs for controlling the mosquito and the diseases are:
1) Connecting scientists to communities through public awareness campaigns on how people can protect themselves from mosquitoes, and educational efforts to dispel misinformation regarding insect control measures.
2) Establishing mosquito control programs as a critical element of the campaign against Aedes aegypti, in addition to the work being done by the medical community. Prioritizing mosquito control would include funding for integrating well-established and novel control technologies as well as improving the collection and dissemination of data on mosquito populations and the efficacy of control measures.
3) Creating a coalition of international mosquito-control-related organizations to advocate for vector control as a critical element against Aedes aegypti and the diseases it transmits.
"This is a pest that we know how to control -- we just need to do it," said Dr. Luciano Moreira, a principal researcher at Fiocruz and a co-chair of the Summit. "Spreading the word about how all people have a role to play will be critical to success."
"This mosquito had been the target of an international eradication effort in the Americas that had largely been successful," said Dr. Grayson Brown (University of Kentucky), the other co-chair of the Summit. "However, as the mosquito population declined to very low levels, eradication efforts were abandoned and the mosquito resurged. As it did, human disease reappeared and the pathogens vectored by this mosquito exploded soon thereafter."
The Summit was part of the ESA's Grand Challenges Initiative, which addresses areas where the entomological sciences can impact problems of global importance. A second Summit is planned during the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida on September 21, 2016.
To learn more about the Summit and the key findings, please visit https://entomologychallenges.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/outcome-statement-final.pdf.
To learn more about the ESA's Grand Challenges Initiative, please visit http://entomologychallenges.org.
The Entomological Society of America is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 7,000 members. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.
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SOURCE Entomological Society of America