Florida officials say Zika investigations eating up funds



    Florida officials say Zika investigations eating up funds

    July 22, Miami: Florida mosquito control officials worry they won't be able to keep up their efforts to contain the bugs that carry Zika without federal funding, even as concern mounts that the first infection from a mosquito bite on the U.S. mainland is near.

    On Thursday, fogging trucks drove through a Miami-Dade County neighborhood where health officials are investigating a Zika diagnosis that doesn't appear to have connection to travel outside the United States. Zika is usually spread by mosquitoes, but nearly all the Zika cases in the U.S. have been contracted in other countries or through sex with someone who got it abroad, reports said.

    Vasquez's inspectors are going door-to-door, trapping mosquitoes for testing, hand-spraying and removing the standing water where they breed. Such aggressive mosquito control and surveillance is now routine in Miami-Dade County, which leads Florida in confirmed Zika cases linked to travel.

    The Florida Department of Health announced Thursday that another Zika case potentially not related to travel was being investigated in Broward County.

    The tropical mosquito that carries Zika, Aedes aegypti, likes to live near people and it doesn't travel far. Better building construction, more extensive use of air conditioning and window screens, wider use of bug repellant and broader mosquito control measures will help control the spread of Zika by mosquitoes in the U.S., experts believe. The same mosquito also has brought dengue and chikungunya to Florida and the Texas-Mexico border, but only in small clusters of cases.

    The Oslo Times International News Network