Secret Site Map
Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Home News UF Workshop to Address Threat of Insect-Based Terrorism

UF Workshop to Address Threat of Insect-Based Terrorism

Pesticide Issues

A workshop at the University of Florida May 20-22 will look at the possibility of an unusual but potentially massive form of insect-based terrorism that could be launched in Florida.

| May 17, 2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A workshop at the University of Florida May 20-22 will look at the possibility of an unusual but potentially massive form of insect-based terrorism that could be launched in Florida. This workshop, titled “Counteracting Bioterrorist Introduction of Pathogen-Infected Vector Mosquitoes,” deals with the use of pathogen-laced mosquitoes to spread a deadly disease.

Former Gov. Bob Graham, co-author of one of the most authoritative studies of terrorist threats against the United States, “World at Risk,” will give the plenary address at the event, discussing the overall bioterrorism threat. Though attendance at the workshop itself is by invitation only, the public is invited to attend Graham’s address at 7 p.m. May 20 in Pugh Hall’s MacKay Auditorium, Room 170.

How real is the threat? Many of the world’s most dangerous pathogens already are transmitted by arthropods, the animal phylum that includes mosquitoes. But so far the United States has not been exposed to a large-scale spread of vector-borne diseases like Rift Valley, chikungunya fever or Japanese encephalitis. But terrorists with a cursory knowledge of science could potentially release insects carrying these diseases in a state with a tropical climate like Florida’s, according to several experts who will speak at the workshop.

Co-sponsored by UF’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory and the USDA Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, the two-day workshop will bring together experts from a wide variety of disciplines at the state and national level to assess the threat of using mosquitoes as weapons and the preparations the state could take to stave off such an attack.

Currently, there is no organized plan at any governmental level to develop the resources for mosquito control that would prevent such an attack.

Graham’s plenary address will also be streamed live on May 20 at www.bobgrahamcenter.ufl.edu.

The Bob Graham Center for Public Service provides students with opportunities to train for future leadership positions, meet policymakers and take courses in critical thinking, language learning and studies of world cultures. Its mission is to foster public leadership and solve issues related to the Americas and homeland security. It also serves as a magnet to attract distinguished scholars and speakers to Florida.

Top news

ScottsMiracle-Gro Signs Definitive Agreement to Acquire Action Pest Control

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company announced that its subsidiary EG Systems, Inc., doing business as Scotts LawnService, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Action Pest Control, Evansville Ind., which ranked 56th on the 2014 PCT Top 100 list, with annual revenues of $11.6 million. The transaction, which is expected to close by January 2015, would mark Scotts’ first acquisition of a structural pest control business.

Extreme Spider Infestation Forces Missouri Family to Relocate

A family was driven from their suburban St. Louis home by thousands of venomous spiders that fell from the ceiling and oozed from the walls.

WCBB Raising Funds to Help Injured Industry Professional

Trade group Wildlife Control Business Builders (WCBB) is raising funds to help ECO Wildlife Solutions' Susan Sims, who suffered serious injuries as a result of a ladder fall.

Rentokil NA Names Morrow Vice President of Sales

William (Bill) Morrow has joined the company's management team as VP of sales.

Chris Gorecki Named Head of Rollins Technical Services Department

In addition to overseeing Technical Services, Gorecki will continue to lead Government Relations and Environmental Stewardship, Quality Assurance (Operational and Precision Protection), Termite Damage Claims, Safety (to include GPS) and Field Administrative Support Group.

x