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Disease Reporting

Fight the Bite SloganArboviral diseases

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Arboviral (short for arthropod-borne) diseases are caused by arboviruses that are spread to people by a bite of an infected arthropod, including mosquitoes and ticks. In the United States, mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus (WNV), California serogroup viruses (California encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, and Jamestown Canyon), Eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV), Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV), and St. Louis encephalitis virus (SLEV). In Wisconsin, we usually see reports of La Crosse encephalitis, West Nile, and Powassan virus infections. These infections generally occur during warm weather months when mosquitoes and ticks are active. Symptoms of illness are usually mild and nonspecific that can include headache, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Some people may experience severe neuroinvasive illness including flaccid paralysis, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and meningitis.

General Information

Arboviral infections fact sheet - Hmong - Spanish

Prevention

Some tips to protect yourself:

  • Use effective mosquito repellant and apply according to the label instructions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.
  • Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with a repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection. These repellants are the most effective and most studied.
  • Avoid being outside during times of high mosquito activity, specifically around dawn and dusk.
  • Keep window screens repaired so that mosquitoes cannot enter your home.
  • Dispose of discarded tires, cans, or plastic containers left outside that may contain standing water.
  • Drain standing water from pool or hot tub covers.
  • Turn over plastic wading pools and wheel barrows when not in use.
  • Change the water in bird baths, pet dishes and wading pools every 3-4 days.
  • Keep drains, ditches and culverts clean of trash and weeds so water will drain properly.
  • Clean gutters to ensure they drain properly.

For more information, Using Insect Repellants Safely - CDC (exit DHS)

Data and statistics

Chart depicting select arbovirus diseases (West Nile virus, California/LaCrosse encephalitis virus, Powassan virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, and Jamestown Canyon virus) reported in Wisconsin from 2007 to 2013.

Information for health professionals

This is a Wisconsin Disease Surveillance Category II disease: 
Report to the patient's local public health department electronically, through the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System (WEDSS), by mail or fax using an Acute and Communicable Disease Case Report F-44151 or by other means within 72 hours upon recognition of a case.
Information on Communicable Disease Reporting

Wisconsin case reporting and public health follow-up guidelines Arboviral diseases EpiNet 
Arbovirus case report form
2014 Arbovirus management protocol  

Laboratory guidance 

Training

Educational material available from the Department of Health Services:

Form/Publication Number Form Name
DPH-42166 “Use Protection, Avoid Infection” Mosquito-borne Pocket Card

Electronically order forms: Follow the instructions at the top of the page and email the form F-80025A (can be used to order multiple forms/publications) to dhsfmdphpph@wisconsin.gov. Questions concerning ordering of forms can be addressed to Chris Caputo, 608-267-9054.

Additional resources

Contacts 

Wisconsin Local Health Departments - Regional offices - Tribal agencies

Diep Hoang Johnson Vectorborne Disease Epidemiologist
Wisconsin Division of Public Health 
Bureau of Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response
(Phone 608-267-0249)  (Fax 608-261-4976)

Last Revised: July 31, 2014