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Fordham Scientists To Test For West Nile Virus


NEW YORK – Two Fordham University professors are gearing up to survey mosquitoes in the New York City metropolitan area this spring as evidence of the West Nile-like virus again surfaces. Medical Entomologist Richard C. Falco, PhD., and Vector Ecologist Thomas J. Daniels, PhD., both of Fordham’s Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station, played an instrumental role in assisting city, state and federal officials in addressing the encephalitis outbreak last year. The professors conducted mosquito surveillance throughout the crisis, which began in September 1999. More than 60 people were reportedly bitten by infected mosquitoes last year, seven died. Last month, scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control discovered that genetic materials found in hibernating mosquitoes in Queens still carried the deadly fever. “This makes us even more cautious,” Falco said. “Given the evidence, it could be that we will have another outbreak.” Falco’s research is in the field of public health entomology. He has published several articles on ticks and lyme disease. Falco is a member of the American Mosquito Control Association, the American Public Health Association and the Entomological Society of America. Daniels’ research focuses on disease emergence and changes in landscape. He has published articles on lyme disease control and tick management. The Calder Center, a 114-acre field station in Armonk, N.Y., is used to train biologists for work in environmental sciences and conservation. The center has a 10-acre lake for aquatic studies, a modern laboratory for biological and chemical analyses and forest, field and wetland habitats for teaching and research in ecology and conservation. The Center received national attention for all the time and expertise it has provided in addressing the health crisis.


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