156 Martindale Rd
St. Catharines, ON L2S 2X9
Lifelong Learning Niagara is a third age learning organization providing learning programs and experiences for adults 50+ living in the Niagara region.
Presenter: Dr. Fiona Hunter, Brock University Level 3 Containment Lab; Medical Entomologist; Professor
Mosquito surveillance for arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) is an important component of Public Health response andpreparedness. After discovering which mosquito species are driving an arbovirus outbreak, it is possible to determine when and where a new outbreak will occur.
Dr. Hunter has done mosquito surveillance for West Nile virus in Ontario for over 15 years. During this time, Ontario has suffered from two epidemic years. The first epidemic year (2002) was warm and wet, whereas the second (2012) was warm and drought-like.
Despite these differing climatic conditions, Hunter’s research group were able to watch the 2012 epidemic unfold and determine when a rapid increase in human cases would occur. Public Health authorities were then able to notify the public of appropriate personal protective measures to avoid being bitten.
In April of 2016, Dr. Hunter initiated a collaboration with researchers in the Dominican Republic to study the current Zika outbreak from an entomological perspective. A major goal is to build capacity in the Dominican Republic in mosquito surveillance for arboviruses, as well as understand the current Zika virus outbreak.