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Residents in South Florida are on high alert after health officials confirm the first few cases of Zika spread by local mosquitoes. Efforts are underway in Palm Beach County to prevent the spread of the virus to our area. Crews with Mosquito Control are set to go to homes where people have complained about a large mosquito presence. They will be on the lookout for standing water in containers and plan to treat the area if adult mosquitoes are in fact detected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently posted a series of Zika toolkits - online resources and information on how to prevent the Zika virus from being transmitted in outdoor settings. These toolkits contain lots of relevant information to help protect you and your family.
Zika continues to make headlines on a daily basis, and what is believed to be the first locally transmitted case in the U.S., has been reported. At greatest risk are localities in the South, the Eastern seaboard, the West coast, and all along the Gulf states, but possibly also further into the Northeast and Midwest depending on weather and temperature. Zika is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes, and one mosquito species, Aedes aegypti, is the most likely carrier. This mosquito is also called the Yellow Fever mosquito because it has had a history of transmitting that disease especially in urban areas and areas of high poverty where there is poor sanitation, standing water and little protection from mosquito bites.
The disease itself is relatively mild, and some people won’t even know they have contracted it because the symptoms of rash, slight fever and minor aches are so minimal that many who have it don’t even realize they do. However, Zika is very dangerous for those women who either are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant. It can cause a condition in babies known as microcephaly in which the skull of infants is much smaller than normal causing brain damage and other neurological harm.
To contact Mosquito Control in Palm Beach County, please call 561-967-6480 or call the Air Spray Hotline at 561-642-8775 or visit http://www.co.palm-beach.fl.us/erm/mosquito/