Florida on verge of double threat; Zika, destructive storm

Published on : Friday, August 26, 2016

Zika virusA tropical wave on Thursday in the Caribbean, potentially threatened to balloon into a tropical storm or hurricane just as Florida fought outbreaks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

While the unnamed storm could still bring rain to Florida over the next few days, by Friday the threat of it developing into a tropical storm or hurricane largely subsided. However, this year’s hurricane season is only in its infancy, meaning a major tropical storm or hurricane could still spin up and threaten the region in the coming months.

Such a storm would make it harder to control the Zika outbreak, which has grown to 43 cases in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. Zika poses the greatest threat to pregnant women and their fetuses, who can develop devastating birth defects if infected by the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While a tropical storm or hurricane would initially blow mosquitoes out of the sky, it could also leave behind standing water that allows the insects to breed, said Joseph Conlon, technical adviser to the American Mosquito Control Association.

An increase in mosquitoes doesn’t necessarily lead to a spike in disease, said Jerome Goddard, an extension professor of medical entomology at Mississippi State University. That’s because the “nuisance” mosquitoes that live in flooded salt marshes don’t tend to spread disease, no matter how annoying they may be.

The mosquito species that primarily transmits Zika, the Aedes aegypti, prefers to live near people and lay eggs in man-made containers, such as bird baths, flower pots and discarded tires.


One Response to Florida on verge of double threat; Zika, destructive storm

  1. Kate says:

    Does NO ONE in the media understand you cannot do ANYTHING about standing water in Florida? We are a state of standing water!!! Paying people out to go out and tell people to dump water is absolutely useless…what a waste of time and money…

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