Rising mosquito populations mean higher risk of infection

Summer is peak season for mosquitoes, and more cases of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile and Zika virus are being reported throughout Florida.

In Santa Rosa County, a human case of West Nile was reported Aug. 19 and Hurlburt Field discovered West Nile positive mosquitoes in their mosquito traps on the Sound Side.

Zika has also seen a spread this week with the first reported cases of non-travel related transmission of the virus outside the initial zone.

Two patients in Palm Beach County were found to have the virus, hundreds of miles outside of the Miami-Dade area according to a report from Gov. Rick Scott’s office Aug. 24.

Florida Department of Health representative Sarah Revell said though mosquitoes are more prevalent the spread of Zika in Florida is still expected to be limited.

“The department has identified two small areas in Miami-Dade County where active transmission is occurring,” she said. “It is unlikely we will have large outbreaks of Zika fever in Florida. One major reason for this is that we have better housing with air conditioning and intact screens that protect us from being bitten by mosquitoes in our homes.”

On the other hand, West Nile has been in the Panhandle for years.

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Checking the Mosquito Trap

Mosquito Larvae

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