Become a CDC Science Ambassador Fellow

Apply by January 15!  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recruiting teachers and education leaders to bring public health into classrooms across the United States and beyond. Selected fellows tour CDC’s state-of-the-art facilities and collaborate with CDC scientists to design innovative lessons, and to learn curriculum design and teaching strategies that engage students in math and science using today’s emerging public health topics (e.g. Opioid epidemic, Ebola virus, Hurricane preparedness, Zika virus, Teen violence, Obesity, and more). Continue reading

UGA mycologists partner with the CDC to tackle fungicide resistance

by Merritt Melancon, University of Georgia

There are a limited number of compounds available to combat fungal infections in both plants and people. A team of University of Georgia researchers is helping to assess the risk posed by fungi developing widespread resistance to the stable of antifungal compounds used in the United States.

Michelle Momany, professor in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences Department of Plant Biology, and Marin Brewer, associate professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Plant Pathology, recently received a $197,798 contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study antifungal resistance in agricultural settings. Continue reading

Texas A&M garners $10 million grant to establish center, fight vector-borne diseases

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife recently received a substantial monetary boost to bolster its aggressive fight to stem the spread of vector-borne diseases for the public good, said Dr. David Ragsdale, Texas A&M University entomology department head at College Station.

Ragsdale said the $10 million five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be used to establish the Western Gulf Coast Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Continue reading

New study suggests more deaths from West Nile virus than predicted

In HealthDay News

by Randy Dotinga, HealthDay News

A new study suggests that the death toll from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus might be much greater than thought because its effects may often kill people months or years after infection.

“We are hoping our research findings will help encourage a push to develop a vaccine that can help prevent disease and premature death,” said study co-author Dr Kristy Murray, an associate professor with National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “At this time, the only way people can prevent the disease is protecting themselves from mosquito bites, which can sometimes be difficult to do.” Continue reading

Why We Should All Support IPM in Schools as a Top Priority for our Nation

By Dr. Thomas Green, IPM Institute

From the Connection, North Central IPM Center

This fall, 50.4 million students and six million staff returned to more than 100,000 schools in 13,500 districts across the US. Unfortunately, only 15-20% of those districts have key indicators of effective IPM programs (Green and Gouge 2015). Continue reading

Centers for Disease Control announces RFA for Vector-Borne Disease Regional Centers of Excellence

The Centers for Disease Control is sponsoring a funding opportunity for vector-borne disease regional Centers of Excellence.

The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is to establish vector-borne disease (VBD) regional Centers of Excellence (COEs) aimed at building the capacity to address the problem of emerging and exotic vector-borne diseases in the U.S., including Zika virus infection. The specific goals of these centers are to: (1) conduct applied research to develop and validate effective VBD prevention and control tools and methods necessary to anticipate and respond to disease outbreaks; (2) train a cadre of public health
entomologists with the knowledge and skills required to rapidly detect and respond to VBD threats in the United States; and (3) build effective collaborations between academic communities and public health organizations at federal, state, and local levels for VBD surveillance, prevention, and response. The ultimate objective is for these centers to help generate the necessary knowledge and capacity to enable appropriate and timely local public health action for VBD to be taken throughout the U.S., given significant regional differences in vector ecology, disease transmission dynamics and resources. Continue reading

EPA Webinar: Protecting Students from Mosquitoes & the Zika Virus at School

These days, we can’t turn to TV, radio, or social media without hearing alarming stories of Zika virus. Mosquito-borne diseases have been responsible for much suffering throughout human history. Today, the diseases they transmit in the United States and its territories, including Zika virus, Dengue, chikungunya virus, and several forms of encephalitis, are continuing threats.

Join us as we learn about the mosquitoes that are of concern to schools and the interim guidance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers for district and school administrators to help schools keep their students, faculty and staff safe from Zika virus. Also hear firsthand the steps a school district in Florida is taking to reduce mosquito populations in an effort to prevent mosquito-borne illness. Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency. Continue reading