On December 2, San Mateo Mosquito and Vector Control District laboratory staff helped lead a field trip at Wunderlich County Park for Stanford students learning about tick borne diseases. The class was entitled Parasites and Pestilence and was led by professor and District Trustee Dr. Scott Smith. Students were given tick flags and instructed on basic tick biology as well as how to collect ticks and sort by sex and species.
Officials at San Mateo Mosquito and Vector Control District (SMCMVCD) remind residents that winter is the season for the western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus), also known as the deer tick. This tick is the primary vector for Lyme disease and other common tick-borne illnesses.
This summer the laboratory has been assisted by Enger German, who conducted most of the surveillance for invasive Aedes mosquitoes this season. Enger has a master’s degree in Entomology, and experience in insect monitoring, especially in Florida. The District hired Enger for the season using grant funding from Public Health Foundations Enterprises, Inc. on behalf of the California Department of Public Health.
To some people ticks may all look the same, but for Vector Ecologists at the San Mateo County Mosquito and Vector Control District, knowing the small differences among species can help us learn things such as the potential for disease transmission and distribution. San Mateo County is home to a variety of tick species, many of which residents are unlikely to encounter because of their highly specific habitats. Lab employees however, have the opportunity to collect ticks directly off wild animals when they are captured for disease surveys, in addition to routine tick flagging.
On September 20th, residents of District 5 (Brisbane, Colma, Daly City, San Bruno, and South San Francisco) met at the Colma Community Center to talk about their experiences with wildlife and ask questions of humane educator Kylynn Pelkey from Peninsula Humane Society and SMCMVCD public health education and outreach officer Megan Sebay.
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced today three confirmed deaths in California due to West Nile virus (WNV). The deceased persons were residents of Kern, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. CDPH is unable to provide additional patient details including demographic information and name of hospital providing care to protect confidentiality.
You may think the worst you need to worry about raccoons is them getting into your garbage cans but don’t be fooled! These masked bandits also carry a potentially deadly worm called the raccoon roundworm or Baylisascaris procyonis. Round worms live out most of their lives in the raccoon’s digestive tract. The eggs are eaten when the babies are suckling and carried throughout the life of the raccoon. The male and female roundworms grow, meet, mate, and lay eggs in the raccoon’s intestines and their eggs are ejected from the body in feces, ready to find a new host.