Home Topics Mosquito Research and Control Unit
Topic: Mosquito Research and Control Unit
The Ministry of Health is keeping quiet on the absence of Mosquito Research and Control Unit director Dr. James McNelly, amid rumours that his contract has not been renewed.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit uses a number of insecticides with chemicals known to be toxic to bees, aquatic life and, in some cases, humans.
The current boom in blood-sucking bugs has resulted from a combination of factors, including tides and rainfall, reduced aerial spraying, and the species of mosquitoes overrunning the island, explains Dr. James McNelly, director of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit.
Local health officials said they have heightened surveillance efforts in the wake of six confirmed cases of dengue fever in Grand Cayman. They are urging the public to take steps to eradicate any possible mosquito breeding places for the disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito to help control the spread of the virus.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit says it expects mosquito numbers to grow in the coming days.
A new study being conducted by the Mosquito Research and Control Unit is targeting mosquitoes that feed on blue iguanas. The research project, which began in April this year, is a joint effort between the MRCU and Mississippi State University.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit has recently welcomed three disease protection officers to its team.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit is stepping up efforts to combat mosquitos across Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.
Mosquito Research and Control Unit director Jim McNelly acknowledged that the Cayman Islands was facing a “bad infestation” of swamp mosquitoes.
Inspectors from the Mosquito Research and Control Unit recently began residential inspections to help eliminate breeding opportunities for the disease carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit has formally ended its joint collaboration with Oxitec on a 35-week program designed to pinpoint the best way to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Development of the area is not wrong if it is done properly. Where would Cayman be today without development?
Cayman’s genetically modified mosquito project has not worked as effectively as government hoped and will be abandoned, Health Minister Dwayne Seymour said Thursday.
The government’s new focus group for mosquito eradication will debate a variety of approaches, said Jim McNelly, the director of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit.
A $588,000 project to test the effectiveness of genetically modified mosquitoes in combination with traditional control methods will begin later this month.
Ms. Barnard also emphasized her track record of honesty and commitment to transparency, providing several examples of such conduct in her career in government and the nonprofit sector.
New MRCU Director Jim McNelly Ph.D. says his team and Oxitec are in agreement on how, where and when to proceed with the evaluation. It will also be up to MRCU to evaluate what success will look like.
The depth of skepticism among scientists at the Mosquito Research and Control Unit about the success of genetically modified mosquitoes in Grand Cayman is revealed in a cache of internal emails released following an open records request.
MRCU has rightfully carried out their due diligence with regards to the Friendly Mosquitoes solution and has always been supportive of the technology.
A government report contained inaccurate information that overstated the genetically modified mosquito program’s success, according to recently released internal emails between government and MRCU officials.
It will take a dedicated commitment of money and resources to control or eradicate Cayman’s green iguana population, according to Department of Environment experts.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit announced on Tuesday that it has appointed James McNelly as its new director.
In spring 2016, amid the maelstrom of fears over the Zika virus, the Cayman Islands government announced with considerable public fanfare that officials were partnering with a British firm to introduce a novel mosquito control method to the territory.
A multimillion dollar plan for the islandwide rollout of Cayman’s genetically modified mosquito program has been significantly scaled back amid budget cuts and concerns that the technology has yet to fully prove itself.
I notice that speed limit signs are now being erected throughout the district of West Bay. However there is still a lot of speeding going on and I believe that it could be due to the lack of speed limit signs, as I mentioned in previous letters.
The Mosquito Research and Control Unit says it is expecting a “significant emergence” of mosquitoes over the coming days due to heavy rains recently.
Genetically modified mosquitoes have made a significant impact in reducing wild populations of the disease-spreading insects in the West Bay release area.
A recent spike in activity is the result of heavy rains in late September and early October, pushing mosquito populations higher. Only halfway through the month, total figures for trapped mosquitoes are already 8 percent higher than last October.
In the Aug. 23, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, the following article titled “Radio Station – Engineering Survey” appeared:
While researchers hope to expand their genetically modified mosquito program to the entire island of Grand Cayman around February, a U.K.-based nonprofit organization has released a report questioning the efficacy of the initiative and criticizing the project’s public approval process.
The Mosquito Control and Research Unit will conduct aerial spraying over mosquito breeding swamps in the coming weeks in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.
In the Aug. 23, 1967 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, an article titled “Assembly Shown M.R.C.U. Dyke Building Project” informed the community about important work being done in the community.
The National Conservation Council on Wednesday unanimously approved the islandwide rollout of the genetically modified mosquito program without the need for a new independent risk assessment. Bill Petrie, head of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit, said a national program using the technique to fight the disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito could begin in February next year.
Opponents of the use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands say an application to use the technique island wide is “premature.”
Plans to expand the release of genetically modified mosquitoes across Grand Cayman have been submitted to the National Conservation Council.
As fears over the spread of the Zika virus fade, public health officials are warning of a likely outbreak of a new strain of dengue fever in the Caribbean. There have been no new cases of Zika in Cayman since December, but doctors and scientists at the MRCU warn of new threats on the horizon.
The release of some 8 million genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay has had a significant impact in reducing populations of the disease-spreading insects in the targeted area, researchers say. Preliminary data from the MRCU shows that the GM males are successfully mating with females in the wild.
More than 500 students attended a career fair last month to learn about jobs ranging from handling drug-sniffing dogs to working in a medical lab and operating drones. The Careers Fair, hosted by Cayman Academy at the University College of the Cayman Islands, drew students from Cayman’s public and private schools.
Dry weather over the past weeks may signal the end of mosquito season for the year, and with it a lower threat of the mosquito-borne Zika virus. The number of suspected Zika cases has dropped significantly from a high of more than 20 per week at the end of the summer to one or two cases per week now.
In dueling votes over a proposed trial of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes, voters across one Florida county supported releasing the insects, while voters in the town earmarked for the project rejected holding the trial there. Key Haven voted overwhelmingly Tuesday against the proposal, but voters in Monroe County supported holding the trial.
The East End town hall meetings about the Zika virus will be taking place on Tuesday, Nov. 8, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the East End Civic Centre. The meetings have been scheduled by the Public Health Department to inform residents about Zika and to address concerns, especially for pregnant women.
In the Oct. 19, 1966 edition of the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, news from George Town included: “Dr. M.E.C. Giglioli has informed the Caymanian that the Mosquito Research and Control Unit has recently been granted 41,329 pounds from Colonial Development and Welfare funds to cover capital equipment costs during its first two years of operation ending in April 1968."
A second pregnant woman has tested positive for the Zika virus, according to Cayman Islands public health officials. The second case was confirmed after a report was made by the Public Health Department on Wednesday, indicating that 17 locally contracted cases were confirmed along with 10 cases in people who had traveled overseas.
Town hall meetings about the Zika virus have been rescheduled. The meetings have been scheduled by Public Health to inform residents about Zika and to address concerns, especially for pregnant women. Everyone is invited, particularly pregnant women.
Cayman now has 17 confirmed locally transmitted cases of Zika, including one pregnant woman, according to public health officials. All of the confirmed local cases are in George Town. The total number of cases confirmed with laboratory results, including those suspected to have come from overseas travel, is now 26.
The disease, disruption and dismay they cause, however, is world-class, beyond all proportion to their size. This is what you need to know about the seven genuses of mosquito that call the Cayman Islands home.
The Public Health Department’s upcoming series on the Zika virus may be just what the doctor ordered.
Cayman Islands public health officials are hosting a series of meetings aimed at informing local residents, especially pregnant women, about risks associated with the Zika virus. The meetings are set to start on Tuesday.
Researchers studying the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay say they are starting to see the gene show up in mosquito larvae, meaning those mosquitoes likely will not survive to adulthood.
The staff at Cayman’s Mosquito Research and Control Unit has been putting in long days as they fight to stop Zika transmission in Grand Cayman.
Two more people, both of George Town, have tested positive for the Zika virus, according to the Public Health Department. There are now five confirmed cases of Zika in the Cayman Islands, all of which have been in George Town.
Some pregnant women have left the Cayman Islands and others are putting off moves to Grand Cayman now that there are known local Zika transmissions. But leaving a job and traveling overseas is not an option for many women who are pregnant and couples trying to conceive.
Public health officials Thursday confirmed a third local case of the Zika virus, all of which have occurred in George Town.
A new government survey found most people on Grand Cayman support the ongoing trial of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay.
Two people in George Town are Cayman’s first official cases of locally transmitted Zika, according to public health officials. The islands have had six cases of Zika imported by people visiting other countries, but these are the first reported incidents of the virus being acquired locally.
The Public Health Department late Monday confirmed the first locally transmitted case of Zika in the Cayman Islands. Previously, there had been seven documented cases that were contracted outside of Cayman, but public health officials confirmed that a man in George Town is the first person confirmed to became infected with Zika in the islands.
As Oxitec and the Mosquito Research and Control Unit ramp up releases of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay, regulators in the U.S. gave the company the green light to test the GM mosquitoes on an island in the Florida Keys.
The Cayman Islands’ fourth imported case of the Zika virus was confirmed Wednesday by public health officials.
Given the choice between the risks associated with “natural” Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which carry nasty viruses like Zika, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever) and the potential risks of “genetically modified” Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (which are engineered to reduce the wild population) – we find ourselves more and more inclined to give the GM mosquitoes a chance.
Thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes were released in West Bay on Thursday, kicking off what the Mosquito Research and Control Unit and collaborator Oxitec call their “Friendly Aedes aegypti project.”
When lawyers of opponents to the genetically modified mosquito project filed an application for a stay and judicial review on July 13 – a review that could have ended the project – Justice Ingrid Mangatal suddenly had more than 598 pages worth of evidence and documents to review.
We cannot keep pumping insecticide into the environment and hope to win against the mozzies.
The release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay can proceed, after a Grand Court judge on Tuesday refused an application for another stay of the project.
A Grand Court judge on Monday refused an application for a judicial review that could have stopped the planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay.
A judge will deliver her ruling on Monday on whether millions of genetically modified mosquitoes can be released in West Bay.
A lawyer representing opponents of a planned release of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in West Bay told a judicial review Tuesday that a “proper risk assessment” of the project had not been done.
A third case of imported Zika virus in the Cayman Islands has been confirmed by public health officials.
12Page 1 of 2