CDC, Florida probing possible Zika case from Miami mosquito

Posted at 11:12 AM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 22:19:46-04

The first person in the United States to contract the Zika virus from a mosquito could be right here in Florida.

The Florida Department of Health is looking into it after lab results showed a person in Miami is infected with the virus, who doesn't appear to have any connections to someone traveling overseas.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says none of the more than 1,300 Zika infections in the United States to date were from local mosquitoes. Fourteen were sexually transmitted and one involved laboratory exposure.

Mosquito control inspectors were at work in Miami-Dade County on Wednesday. Spokeswoman Gayle Love said they've been going door-to-door since health authorities alerted them late last week, spraying to kill mosquitoes and emptying any containers holding water.

The possibility of Zika in some of Florida's mosquitoes has some living in Lee County concerned.

"We carry bug spray with us, but I can't say we always apply it. Now, I don't think there's a doubt in my mind. We'll probably be applying that," Shannon Ramos of Cape Coral said.

Shelly Redovan of Lee County Mosquito Control said they've been planning for the arrival of Zika for awhile. She understands concern, but said no one should panic.

Both Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitos can transmit the Zika virus, and both are found in Lee County.

When asked what Lee County Mosquito Control is doing to get ahead of Zika, Redovan said they're doing a lot of surveillance.

"We've got traps out in any of the areas where we had suspected cases, in areas where we've found larger populations of Aedes Aegypti," she said.

They can test for Zika right in their labs in Lee County, and have a plan in place if there is transmission of Zika.

"We're spraying that area with the aircraft at night, we're going to have traps out there to collect the mosquitoes that are in that area, and we will also spray that area with a larvacide," Redovan said.

To help protect yourself, Redovan recommends wearing bugspray outside and removing any containers that can hold standing water from around your home.