Quirk Bill to Help Prevent Yellow Fever, West Nile and Zika Viruses is Signed
Surveillance system and database will prevent mosquito-borne diseases from spreading
SACRAMENTO – Following a wet winter and warm summer, mosquito experts throughout the state are moving fast to maintain public health and prevent the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. Recognizing this, today Governor Newsom signed AB 320, authored by Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D – Hayward), establishing a preventive surveillance system and database, known as CalSURV, to track and predict where disease-spreading mosquitoes might emerge.
“It is critical that California supports the tools that will help us get ahead of potential threats to the public health, including the West Nile and Zika viruses,” said Assemblymember Quirk. “Real-time surveillance and improved statewide communications can help mosquito control agencies prevent the spread of invasive mosquitoes.”
The CalSURV Program provides centralized storage of data collection and analysis for the presence of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases throughout the state. The University of California (UC) Davis, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and local mosquito control agencies will work together to provide real-time reporting of potentially dangerous mosquitoes and mosquito-borne virus activity.
“The Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California is thrilled that Governor Newsom signed AB 320 into law, signifying his commitment to protecting the public from mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus,” said Jeremy Wittie, President of MVCAC, which sponsored the bill. “CalSURV is an important tool for vector-borne disease research, surveillance and data collection.”
Highlighting the need for the bill, in September, health officials warned that two new invasive species of mosquitos that can carry Zika, dengue, yellow fever and other dangerous viruses are spreading in California have been found in Sacramento and Placer Counties and are threatening Napa County. CDPH has confirmed Aedes aegypti, commonly known as the yellow fever mosquito, has been detected in 16 counties, and five of those have also detected Aedes albopictus, the Asian tiger mosquito.
“The work and monitoring done through CalSURV will continue to be critical in preventing transmission of viruses carried by mosquitoes. Concurrently, mosquito control agencies have spent considerable resources trying to keep them out of their communities in an effort to prevent local transmission in the future. Ensuring continuous management of CalSURV is an important component to maintaining the health of California and vitality of our agricultural industry,” stated Assemblymember Quirk upon learning his bill was signed.
AB 320 goes into effect January 1, 2020.
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