Why vector control?
Following a particularly wet winter, the first locally acquired cases of malaria in America (meaning, those that weren’t the result of travel to a malaria-infected country) in over 20 decades occurred this year in Texas and Florida.
For many across the world, especially those in several low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and large swaths of Asia where malaria remains endemic, the threat of a malarial infection is a daily fact of life. What many people don’t realize is that this threat used to be far more common all across the world. Throughout the 19th century, malaria was a leading cause of death in the United States. In 1850, 45.7 out of every 100 deaths resulted from malarial fever. As a result of the efforts overseen by the National Malaria Eradication Program, malaria was considered eliminated in the United States by 1951.
Today, this stasis is maintained thanks to the behind-the-scenes of mosquito abatement districts, or MADs, located in counties and other jurisdictions, who also provide a valuable public service in keeping rates of other mosquito-borne illnesses low (e.g. West Nile virus). Were it not for these efforts, it’s possible that the United States would see a return to pre-1951 levels of malaria and other illnesses.
Co-Dx Vector Smart™ products can help MADs operate more efficiently and productively
Given the importance of front-line efforts to combat vector-borne illnesses, access to reliable, accurate onsite PCR tests is of growing importance as climate change experts warn that seasons where mosquitoes can become and remain active may stretch beyond their traditional reach. The same technology that was considered to be the gold standard of COVID-19 diagnostics can also be used to identify whether mosquitos are carrying pathogens and microorganisms like West Nile, Zika, dengue, chikungunya, eastern and western encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. The sooner and more accurately a MAD can locate mosquito pools containing these diseases, the better and more effectively they can direct their efforts in the interest of public health.
Co-Diagnostics is one of the only PCR diagnostics manufacturers selling PCR tests and equipment to support MADs. We are committed to doing our part to prevent diseases spread by mosquitos. Our Vector Smart products are designed to provide accurate and efficient testing for MADs to reduce the mosquito-borne illnesses that currently represent 17% of all infectious diseases globally*. They can help to provide same-day results and include PCR tests themselves along with all equipment needed for MADs to perform in-house testing, rather than a turnaround of a week or more as mosquitos are sent to a centralized location for analysis.
Check out our vector control page to learn more.
*WHO (March 2020), https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/vector-borne-diseases