Skip to main content

U.S. flag An official website of the United States government

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA FAQ's and resources about coronavirus (COVID-19).  LEARN MORE

USDA Announces Eradication of New World Screwworm in Florida

This is an archive page.  The links in this content are no longer being updated.


March 23, 2017 – USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing the successful eradication of the New World screwworm (NWS) from Florida. 

“I want to personally thank our many collaborating partners at the Federal, State, and local levels,” said Dr. Jack Shere, USDA Chief Veterinarian.  “Through their dedication and professionalism close to 154 million sterile flies have been released, 16,902 animals have been inspected at checkpoints, and almost 430 hours of active surveillance in the Keys and 250 hours of active surveillance on the mainland have been completed.  Their tireless work has allowed us to eliminate New World screwworm from the United States once again.”

Animal health checkpoints, or interdiction stations, were closed on Saturday. The last sterile fly releases in Homestead, FL took place on Tuesday and fly releases are scheduled to end on April 25 in the Florida Keys.

APHIS considers an area to be screwworm-free through surveillance which includes trapping flies and visually inspecting animals for signs and symptoms of NWS infestation. No new cases of NWS have been reported in Florida since January 10.  Science shows that, when sterile flies are released, elimination of NWS is achieved three life cycles after the last detection. The flies have on average, a 21-day life cycle, and they continue to circulate in the area for three weeks beyond each release. In the Keys, APHIS will complete five life cycles beyond the last positive screwworm detection. Out of an abundance of caution, APHIS also released flies in the Homestead area for three completed life cycles.

APHIS and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) will continue passive surveillance to ensure any new findings are quickly identified. This surveillance includes veterinarians reporting any suspicious cases, wildlife surveillance, concerned citizens that see suspicious wounds on animals or even on a person, and continued communication with the parks and the National Key Deer Refuge.

APHIS began releasing sterile flies in October 2016, as part of aggressive eradication effort undertaken in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FDACS, and local partners.  More information about the screwworm response can be found here:  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/cattle-disease-information/nws





#

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.

#

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

Complementary Content
${loading}