Team # 396 -- Cooperative Extension West Nile Virus Committee
College of Agricultural Sciences

January 2001

Objective

West Nile encephalitis, a mosquito-borne disease, had never been documented in the Western Hemisphere before the late summer of 1999 when an outbreak occurred in the New York City metropolitan area. In 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 62 human cases of encephalitis, including seven deaths. In April 2000, a PSU committee was formed to gather, produce, and disseminate information about this emerging disease. This committee with staff from various departments and programs in the College of Agricultural Sciences including a county extension agent produced four fact sheets, a color brochure, a mosquito pest management poster, a televised extension minute, two Powerpoint presentations, a web site and various maps.

Team Membership

  • Jack Watson, Sponsor
  • Win Hock, Leader
  • Sharon Gripp, Facilitator
  • Pat Comerford, Member
  • Marilyn Corbin, Member
  • Brian Egan, Member
  • Dave Griswold, Member
  • Glenn Holbrook, Member
  • Steve Jacobs, Member
  • Bhushan Jayarao, Member
  • Bob Leiby, Member
  • Charlie Pitts, Member
  • Julie Watson, Member

Results Achieved to Date

  • April 2001: Continuous improvement of existing teactics through electronic communication: provided updates as needed on spread of positive virus detections and made sure that UP, couty extension and govt personnel had the most current and complete knowledge of the status of the problem.
  • Tactics for 2001-02: Penn State cooperative extension agent in each county will have a contact in addition to DEP county contacts; pesticide applicator training will include more county and municipal employees; video program will be available for county fairs; publications will be evaluated using "what if" analysis for obsolescence potential and updated prior to mosquito season.

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