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Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit Provides Vector-Borne Disease Workshop for Navy Region Southwest

By: Lieutenant Jen Knapp, Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five, Public Affairs , 
Published: 4/26/2018 2:30 PM

​SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five (NEPMU-5) conducted a vector-borne disease workshop at Naval Base San Diego, April 24.

Forty participants that included entomologists, environmental health officers, preventive medicine technicians, public works employees, housing representatives and vector control personnel attended the workshop.

"The purpose of this event is to provide a collaborative learning space where individuals are empowered to make force health protection decisions based on the most current information available," said Dr. Mahmood Nikbahkt Zadeh, NEPMU- 5 entomologist and the workshop's organizer.

San Diego County's Supervising Vector Ecologist Chris Conlan attended the event and gave a talk on the current state of the vectors that transmit Zika and dengue in San Diego. Conlan also offered advice on communicating risk to stakeholders.

"NEPMU-5 has a multidisciplinary staff that is uniquely capable of responding to multifaceted public health issues in our region," said Cmdr. Shelton Lyons, officer in charge, NEPMU-5. "We have preventive medicine officers, entomologists, microbiologists and environmental health officers all under one roof [who are] capable of responding as a center of excellence."

Workshop speakers discussed the biology, surveillance and control of mosquitoes that carry dengue and Zika virus, along with general disease information, integrated pest management best practices and risk communication.

"Vector-borne diseases represent a complex public health concern that requires collaboration from all of our Navy and civilian stakeholders," said Lyons. "Overall, the goal of this workshop was to empower our personnel to make informed, data-driven decisions in regards to integrated pest management and force health protection."

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