USDA confirms presence of New World screwworm in Florida

The Texas Animal Health Commission(TAHC) was notified by The United States Department of Agriculture(USDA) of the confirmed presence of New World screwworm in a stray dog that was found in Homestead, Florida. This is the first time screwworms have been found on Florida’s mainland in decades.

The screwworm eradication program has been underway in Florida since October 2016. The USDA, Florida Department of Agriculture and partnering agencies will continue to modify the eradication program as needed in order to eradicate the New World screwworm.

To learn more information regarding the detection dates and locations of the New World screwworm in Florida, please visit http://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Animal-Industry/Consumer-Resources/Reportable-Animal-Diseases/New-World-Screwworm/New-World-Screwworm-Detection-Information

New World screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people. Screwworms can enter wounds as well as body orifices, and feed on living tissue in that area. If untreated, screwworm infestations can be fatal.

The TAHC would like to remind all veterinarians, producers and stakeholders, to report any animal suspected to be infested with screwworm larvae, by calling the TAHC at 1-800-550-8242 or contacting the nearest TAHC Region Office.

Veterinarians can submit collected samples to the State-Federal Laboratory in Austin at:

8200 Cameron Road Suite A186
Austin, TX 78754 Phone: 512-832-6580

Or the National Veterinary Service Laboratories in Ames, Iowa. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/lab-info-services.

Thomas Swafford
Public Information Officer
Texas Animal Health Commission
(512) 719-0743