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Mosquito trapping and disease prevention

By TSgt Albertina Walker 2nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron

The 2nd Bomb Wing’s gates and streets are secured by 2nd Security Forces Squadron. To guard against cyber-attacks, the network systems are protected by 2nd Communications Squadron.  Barksdale Air Force Base has a list of protectors that safeguard not only our military, dependents, and beneficiaries, but also the local community. This includes the 2nd Medical Group’s Public Health technicians who work hard to protect and prevent the spread of disease to the base populous.   From May to October 2018, Public Health will set mosquito traps on a weekly basis to identify diseases and harmful viruses spread by mosquitoes. The objective is to trap samples of the different female vectors. Public Health sets traps in main base and eastside housing, Cullen Park, and the dog park. We ask that no one tampers with or removes the traps. After 24 hours, the samples are then collected, packaged, and mailed to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for testing.   Louisiana has four kinds of Encephalitis: West Nile Fever, Saint Louis, Eastern Equine, and California Encephalitis. These viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes and cause illness in humans and animals. In 2016, there was one human case of West Nile Fever in Bossier Parish.  

For personal protection and prevention, Public Health recommends using a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, with a minimum 30 percent DEET for children. These products are not recommended for children under 2 months of age. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following the product label information when using mosquito repellent.  Repellent should be applied to the skin surface and clothes. Do not apply to areas of the skin that are broken or underneath clothing. When applying to the face, rub the repellent on your hands then apply to the face, keeping away from your eyes.  For extended periods of outdoor exposure, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Do not mix perfumes or colognes with DEET when outside for longer periods of time. Ensure that your windows and doors are sealed with tight-fitting screens that are free of holes. To control the population around your home, remove or reduce standing water by disposing of cans, pots, and other containers that accumulate on your property.  Conduct a yearly cleaning of roof gutters. Clean and chlorinate pools and covers.  Mosquito trapping is important for Team Barksdale because everyone needs to remember to take precautions when outdoors during mosquito season.  For additional information contact Public Health at 456-6599.