Mosquito Control Efforts Enhanced In Brevard County To Ward Off Zika Virus
By Space Coast Daily // February 18, 2016
Protective Measures AGAINST THE VIRUS
Mosquito control inspectors are canvassing homes and businesses in the county to spread the word on preventive measures residents can take to avoid the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
The Florida Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed Brevard County’s first case of the travel-related Zika infection.
In all, there are now 22 confirmed cases of Zika in Florida. Earlier this month, Florida Surgeon General John Armstrong declared a public health emergency in response to the growing number of confirmed cases of imported Zika virus. All of those infected had traveled outside the country.
Enhanced mosquito control protective actions have been implemented in Brevard County to combat container-breeding mosquitoes.
The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which can carry the Zika virus, are not produced in wetlands or other typical habitats – roadside ditches, retention ponds, swales — normally associated with mosquito production.
The Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are daytime feeders, take cover by nightfall and do not travel far.
One of the primary prevention tips is for homeowners to inspect for mosquito breeding areas around their homes, such as old tires, gutters that collect leaves and debris and containers that might hold standing water.
Brevard County Mosquito Control has been on the lookout for those types of breeding areas because the mosquitoes that breed there are the same species that carry Dengue and other viruses.
“We are currently working with residents and businesses in the county on disposing of mosquito-producing containers by distributing leaflets and through conversations,” said Chris Richmond, Mosquito Control environmental scientist.
“We are also treating various containers that cannot be dumped or drained. We have crews out all day collecting tires from illegal waste tire piles countywide. We are spraying for adult mosquitoes in various neighborhoods.”
Symptoms of Zika may include acute onset of low-grade fever, rash, joint pain, conjunctivitis (reddening of eye), body aches, headache, eye pain, and vomiting. Illness typically resolves within a week.
The Florida health department has activated a Zika information hotline 855-622-6735 offering daily updates and answers to questions from the public.
• In order to mitigate the risk of Zika in Brevard County, it is important to limit/reduce the numbers of mosquitoes by eliminate standing water which would serve as mosquito breeding grounds.;
• Mosquitoes use puddles of any size – in pots, abandoned pools, bird baths, old tires, etc. – as reproductive areas. Elimination of these areas around homes and businesses is the most effective form of control.
• If mosquitoes are observed, survey the area for open containers of standing water where the mosquitoes may be reproducing, and notify Natural Resources/Mosquito Control at 321-264-5032.
• To reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites, wear mosquito repellent with DEET, and cover up with clothing.
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