Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

INHS Medical Entomology Outreach


In addition to research studies, the Medical Entomology program at the Illinois Natural History Survey has provided important diagnostic


 tests of West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis virus infection in mosquitoes from Mosquito Abatement Districts in Cook, Macon, and Champaign Counties. In addition to providing an important practical service, these activities are used in conjunction with research projects formed by collaborations with Mosquito Abatement Districts and Illinois Department of Public Health.

The Champaign-Urbana Encephalitis Prevention Program (CUEPP) started with just a surveillance component, and expanded in 2003 to a surveillance and larval management program due to the invasion of West Nile virus.  From the inception of CUEPP, two key academic aspects of the program have been constant; 1) a source of "applied" papers dealing with surveillance, management, or biology of vectors, and 2) a training program for students interested in medical entomology.  Over 50 people have been funded by this program.  CUEPP is an example of a long standing outreach partnership with the city governments of Urbana, Champaign, and Savoy and the University of Illinois. We provide the cities with weekly updates on the threat of arbovirus transmission in the area (positive mosquitoes and

Golf cart with sign used in a local program (CUEPP) for surveillance of 

West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis viruses and mosquito control

 abundance of vector species) and have assisted them with flyers and multimedia presentations by providing guidelines for the public regarding mosquito management and personal protection. We also provided them with risk data from which they could make informed decisions of what level of alert they would pass on to the public.  This program is funded by contributions from the cities of Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, and the University of Illinois. 



 Some of the Outreach Activities of the Medical Entomology Program:

Medical Entomology information booths.  Staff members present information related to arthropods that transmit disease agents.  Video presentations are provided along with display panels, information handouts, and equipment (Illinois State Fair, Governor’s Tent; Migration Fest, Champaign County Forest Preserve District).  2009.

Harvard University Life Sciences Project.   A review provided for Life Science MOSART-LS assessment project.  Program administers questions to students in order to assess the content knowledge gained in grades 5-8 according to the National Science Education Standards.  2009.

Interviews with news media, presentations to general public, and articles in non-technical publications (Outdoor Illinois, 2007; Chicago Wilderness Magazine, "Bloodsucker Zen" & "Out in the Field: How to Ward Off Them That Suck" Spring 2004).

Outreach with end-users, interaction with mosquito abatement district and public health personnel regarding factors affecting transmission and competency of mosquito vectors

Training of undergraduate students at University of Illinois and continuing education curricula for public health employees at society meetings.

Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

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