Orkin and the CDC: Train the Trainers

training session

Orkin invites CDC experts to speak during biannual Train the Trainers seminars. Pictured above during a Fall 2007 Train the Trainers Broadcast are (left to right) Orkin Technical Director Ron Harrison, Ph.D., and Drs. Brian Amman and Benjamin Parks of the CDC's National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne and Enteric Disease.

While Orkin employs top-notch entomologists, the company also looks to outside sources for the latest research and tips on avoiding pest-related diseases to protect employees and pass along to customers. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) share information about pests and pest-related diseases in two annual “Train the Trainers” seminars, in which Orkin employees watch via interactive broadcasts.

Topics have included:  

  • The triatomine bug, which can carry a microscopic parasite that can transmit Chagas disease. Chagas disease can lead to gastrointestinal or heart disease in humans and dogs.
  • Mosquitoes, which can carry West Nile Virus and several strains of encephalitis. Along the Texas border and in Hawaii, mosquitoes can also transmit dengue, a virus that can affect the circulatory system and can even lead to death in severe cases.
  • Ticks, which can carry a number of diseases, including Colorado tick fever, Lyme disease, Q fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Birds and bats, whose droppings can promote the growth of fungal spores causing histoplasmosis or cryptococcosis if inhaled. These diseases usually cause flu-like symptoms and can be fatal.
  • Mammals, such as bats and other wildlife, can transmit rabies. Though 100 percent preventable, the rabies virus kills at least 55,000 humans each year around the world.
  • Rodents, which can spread hantaviruses, Lymphocytic choriomeningitis, tuberculosis, rat bite fever, rickettsial pox, trichinosis and Venezuelan equine encephalitis, among others. Rodents spread diseases directly through bites and aerosolized urine, droppings and nesting materials. They are also considered accomplices to many diseases spread by ticks, mosquitoes, lice and mites.

Orkin’s CDC partnership started in 2004, when Orkin sought up-to-date news about the West Nile virus for customers. Because of Orkin’s broad reach across residential and commercial markets in North America, the company’s technicians are a key means to disseminating health-related pest control information from the CDC to customers.