Via The Guardian: Florida mobilizes to control mosquitos causing 'unprecedented' Zika outbreak. Excerpt:
“Zika is unprecedented,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr Tom Frieden, at a press conference Thursday with Florida governor Rick Scott and state health officials. “We’ve never before had a mosquito-borne disease that can cause birth defects.”
Frieden said his top priority is to lower mosquito populations in the area. The mosquito that transmits the disease, Aedes aegypti, lives in and around homes, and can breed in containers as tiny as a bottle cap.
“It’s not going to easy, this is a difficult mosquito to control,” said Frieden. “Coffee cup, paint can, bucket for collecting rainwater … trash that can support a little bit of water when it rains” all will need to be emptied, Frieden said, and “a major effort to clean that entire effort” will be undertaken.
“What we want to see is mosquito counts coming down,” he said.
Scott also repeatedly emphasized that Florida is still “safe” for the roughly 110 million tourists that travel to the state each year, even as officials warned pregnant women not to visit the Wynwood neighborhood.
Zika is believed to cause microcephaly, or abnormally small heads and severe developmental problems, in babies whose mothers are infected with the disease.
There is no specific treatment for the virus, no vaccine and little is known about how it impacts children not born with apparent birth defects. It is also sexually transmitted and can cause an autoimmune disorder that can lead to paralysis called Guillain-Barré.
Already, Miami has the longest mosquito season of any major city in the country, according to a new analysis by Climate Central. On average, just 28 days per year are inhospitable to mosquitoes in Miami, an increase of 20 days since 1980.