Minnesota Department of Health
Vectorborne Disease Unit
Dave Neitzel has spent more than 30 years describing, monitoring, and preventing vectorborne diseases in Minnesota. In 1987, he created and launched the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District's vectorborne disease surveillance and control program, a model program that is still running today. Dave's work with that program included La Crosse encephalitis prevention, research on Aedes albopictus, a non-native mosquito species that is a potential vector of many diseases, as well as the collection of several thousand small mammals and their attached ticks as part of a blacklegged tick distribution study. Since joining the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in 1997, he's continued monitoring potentially disease-carrying ticks at sites across Minnesota. Dave and his program colleagues at MDH also follow up on all human cases of vectorborne diseases reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (patient demographics, spectrum of clinical illness, tick/mosquito exposure history). MDH program efforts include substantial educational outreach to medical providers, public health professionals, and the general public.