20,000 male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with a naturally occurring bacteria called Wolbachia were recently released in the Florida Keys. When the infected males mate with female mosquitoes, the eggs she produces won’t hatch. Florida’s mosquito-control experts are hoping for a decline in Aedes aegypti population and the number of locally-transmitted Zika cases.
The CDC highlights 10 critical contributions in the fight against Zika in a recent report, but maintains the fight is not over. The CDC’s top priority in the Zika response is to protect pregnant women.
The locally transmitted Zika cases in Texas are occurring during low mosquito densities, suggesting that a high percentage of mosquitoes could be infected.
The Cameron County Health Department reports that four more cases of local Zika transmission have occurred in the same Brownsville neighborhood as the first case reported last month.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez returned from a CDC trip where new methods to control the spread of Zika – use of genetically modified male and Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes – were discussed.
Mosquito control officials in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida are continuing to fight the Zika virus with an unusual method: turbines on trucks. The vehicle-mounted turbines can spread larvicide over a larger amount of ground in shorter time than handheld sprayers.
Miami-Dade county has reported the most Zika cases with 237 travel-related and 156 mosquito-borne. The most recent case was found outside of Miami Beach, the only place identified as an active transmission zone. $7.4M will pay for Miami-Dade to hire extra mosquito control workers and to increase spraying.
Experts say yes as storms wash away previously sprayed insecticides assisting in the spread of mosquitoes and leave standing water behind creating habitats for mosquitoes to breed. Plus, increased outdoor exposure and crowding increases the risk of viral infection.
Mosquito-control officials are being challenged to find the best barriers against the Zika mosquito with summer here and the risk of Zika infection on the rise.
At the height of mosquito season in one of the US’s buggiest regions, the County Health Department that serves Houston is in need of money and staff to fight the Zika mosquito.