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    NEPMU-5 Collaborates with Camp Pendleton to Inspect Game Animals for Ectoparasites


    Photo By Abraham Essenmacher | Lt. Riley Tedrow, an entomologist assigned to Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine...... read more read more



    Story by Lt. Dawn Whiting 

    Navy and Marine Corps Force Health Protection Command

    SAN DIEGO - The Vector Control Department at Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit (NEPMU) 5 has recently begun a collaboration with the Game Warden Office at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton to inspect and pluck ectoparasites off of game animals acquired by hunters. As the name implies, these are parasites that live and feed on the surface of (rather than inside) the animal. On their first outing of the year, Lt.’s Hanayo Arimoto and Riley Tedrow, Entomologists assigned to NEPMU-5, worked with Game Warden Melissa Vogt on the last duck hunt of the season.

    “Identifying ectoparasites on the waterfowl that migrate through Camp Pendleton gives us an opportunity to raise awareness on the health and safety risks involved with handling wild game,” says Vogt. “This collaboration is impactful to our hunting program because our hunters handle and consume multiple waterfowl species each year. Through studies such as this, we are able to provide more informed health risk mitigation guidance and assist in improving the overall mission readiness of our active duty hunters.”

    "This type of collaboration between the base wildlife officials and Navy Preventive Medicine provides not only great training for our personnel, but sharpens the skills necessary for disease diagnostics in a deployed setting,” said Capt. Peter Obenauer, officer in charge of NEPMU-5. “Navy Entomologists and Preventive Medicine Technicians (PMT) are often the "go-to" people when U.S. forces encounter problematic organisms or unexplained disease outbreaks requiring specialized research skills," Obenauer added.
    “I think it’s important for Navy Entomologists and our PMT’s to obtain hands-on experience in areas outside of our normal routine activities, as familiarity with various organisms and techniques are essential to our optimal functioning in austere conditions,” said Lt. Tedrow.

    In coordination with the Game Warden, NEPMU-5 personnel will continue collecting and identifying parasites found on game animals throughout the year to include deer, coyotes, squirrels, and waterfowl.
    “Working with the Game Warden to collect parasites from different kinds of game animals allows us to learn more about the ecology of the installation and assess risks to force health from that perspective,” expressed Lt. Arimoto.

    This collaboration will continue to improve NEPMU-5’s skillset, accumulate data on ectoparasite prevalence on Camp Pendleton, and help to mitigate health risks to animals and service members who hunt.

    The Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center (NMCPHC) develops and shapes public health for the U.S. Navy and Marines Corps through health surveillance, epidemiology and analysis, disease and injury prevention, and public health consultation. Learn more by going to Follow NMCPHC on social media at and For more news from Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five, visit or follow NEPMU 5 on Facebook at



    Date Taken: 03.22.2021
    Date Posted: 03.22.2021 09:28
    Story ID: 391955
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 

    Web Views: 445
    Downloads: 0