Entomology and Pest Management
Deployment Pest Management: Estimating Entomological Risk 
This page provides information on estimating entomological risk.


The vector borne and zoonotic diseases that make up the entomological hazard are highly variable and hard to predict because many variables interact together.  Four factors - seriousness of the disease, likelihood of disease, exposure to vectors/pathogen, and protection measures - are evaluated when making an Entomological risk estimate.  Entomological risk estimate methodology addressing these factors was developed following the Army’s operational risk management process (FM 100-14).  Technical Guide 288, Entomological Operational Risk Management, How to Perform an Entomological Operational Risk Assessment details this process. 

Entomological Operational Risk Assessments (EORA) provide risk estimates for vector-borne and zoonotic diseases in the country of concern.  These estimates, prepared by the USAPHC, are focused on medical threats, that is, those that could impact ability of units to accomplish their mission. Entomological Operational Risk Assessments (EORAs) have been produced for more than 30 countries.  Access the list of available EORAs. 

These EORAs include risk estimates for entomological hazards on a country wide basis.  In addition, risk is constantly changing, therefore, any published entomological risk estimate only represents a point in time.  You should consider making a risk assessment to “fine tune” and update the exposure and protection estimates for the specific region of your deployment.

Changes in Exposure and/or Protection estimates should be applied to the hazard probability matrix published in the EORA to adjust hazard probability estimates as appropriate.  Don’t forget to change the risk estimate if the probability estimate is changed.

Exposure Estimate

The exposure estimate is a subjective evaluation of the degree of exposure to vectors or pathogen-contaminated areas.  Exposure is a continuum that ranges from continuous exposure to bites of pathogen-carrying vectors, contaminated soil or contaminated water at the high end to no exposure expected at the low end.  See Table 3, Page 12, TG 288.

The following questions need to be addressed to make an exposure estimate (see Chapter 3-4b, Page 13, TG 288 for detailed discussion):

Will the mission put personnel into close contact with vectors?
             Factors include: 
                         Vector habits
                         V
ector habitat
                         Billeting 

Will conditions during deployment be favorable for disease transmission?
                 Factors include:
                         Seasonality.
                         Recent weather
                         Density of vector.
                         Infection rate

What is the Incubation Period?

What strain/species of the pathogen is present?

Protection Estimate

The protection estimate is a subjective evaluation of the effectiveness of the force protection measures implemented to protect personnel from entomological hazards.  Protection is a continuum that ranges from exposure without force protection measures at the low end to conscientious use of all appropriate force protection measures at the high end.  See Table 3, Page 12, TG288.

The three factors used to estimate protection, command emphasis, FST, and individual force protection, are discussed Chapter 3.4c, Page 15, TG288.

Surveys conducted during deployments suggest many soldiers were relatively unfamiliar with personal protection doctrine and did not routinely practice it.  Recent experience in Afghanistan (2002), Iraq (2003), and Liberia (2003) indicates that this is still the case.  Experience since indicate that a force protection estimate in the center of the range (moderate), at best, is appropriate in most deployment situations unless actual unit data are available.

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