Georgia Public Health Officials Educated on Mosquitoes

A three day seminar has just wrapped up at Valdosta State University, and reporter Bill Pearson was there to learn what the experts are saying about the current threat from mosquitoes.

There is more to fighting dangerous mosquitoes than just random spraying according to regional environmental health experts. That's why dozens of county health administrators from around Georgia attended a special awareness course at Valdosta State University.

Mark Blackmore, a VSU Biology professor, says, "You can always pick up little tidbits and there have certainly been little tidbits. I've learned about some of the species that are difficult to identify that he's pointed out, some things that you look for in addition to the standard things."

The lessons were not just limited to public health administrators.

Bruce Harrison, Ph.D., a national mosquito expert, says, "We're speaking to people who work in the local mosquito control programs and drive the spraying trucks, and this is very important for them because they need to know why they're out driving those spray trucks and not just going out at night and spraying."

Harrison says "smart spraying" makes for more effective spraying, which helps protect more people in the long run. These mosquito experts also discussed what possible threats could arise in the future and how to best combat those problems.

Blackmore adds, "We're always trying to anticipate what may come in here and we don't want to be caught by surprise."

Learning and preparing to help protect you from West Nile and other life threatening diseases. The good news is we're already past the peak of mosquito season, but the bad news is this is the time of year when the threat of West Nile disease arrives.