Progressive Control and Eradication of the New World Screwworm in Latin America and the Caribbean

In the past, the sterile insect technique (SIT) has been used successfully used as part of an Integrated Pest Management for the eradication of the NWS in the following countries and territories: Curaçao (1954 and 1976 by reinfestation), the Southeastern United States of America (USA) (1959), the Southwestern USA (1966), US Virgin Islands (1972), United Kingdom Virgin Islands (1972), Puerto Rico (1975), Mexico (1991), Libya (1992), Guatemala (1994), Belize (1994), El Salvador (1995), Honduras (1996), Nicaragua (1999), Costa Rica (2000) and Panama (2004), Aruba 2011 (due to re-infestation). In Chile, the last autochthonous case reported was in 1947, which is why the country is considered free of the disease.

The successful outcome of the eradication programs was due to the implementation of a holistic integrated control system, which covered large areas including countries, and imposed strict control systems in the field, in order to reduce wild NWS populations by at least 60% and later introduce the SIT to be effective. All this, following a sub-regional elimination plan agreed with the participating countries, based on exemplary international cooperation agreements. Keeping such extensive geographic areas free of this disease has constituted a sanitary and logistical challenge, especially because since the declaration as free-of-NWS from the countries of Central America and Mexico, over the years a decrease in the reports and taking of suspicious samples of lesions similar to those caused by NWS has been perceived.

For more information on this topic, please consult Proposal for a Strategic Plan for the Eradication of the Myiasis Caused by the New World Screwworm in  South America (in Spanish).

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