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Orange County Continues Proactive Measures to Combat Mosquito-Borne Zika Virus
Mosquito Control Officials Confirm Already Treating Affected Area
Orange County, FL — According to the Florida Department of Health (DOH), as of February 19, 26 cases of the Zika virus have been reported in the state of Florida, with one case now confirmed from Orange County. Prior to today’s announcement, Orange County mosquito control officials confirmed already surveying the affected area identified by DOH and will continue treatment procedures over the next several days. In a press briefing, DOH reported that all of the cases are considered to be travel-related. Orange County Health Services Department continues to take proactive measures to reduce the threat of an outbreak. In addition to county efforts, individuals are encouraged to take proactive measures to eliminate these mosquitoes from their yards and use protective garments when outside. People who recently traveled from a region affected by the outbreak or are concerned they may have been exposed, are encouraged to reduce the potential for the spread of the virus by self-quarantining themselves and/or minimizing contact with vulnerable populations, including expecting mothers.
Orange County will continue to partner with neighboring jurisdictions to maintain ongoing preventive measures to combat Zika, as well as other similar mosquito-borne illnesses. In recent years, Orange County’s mosquito safety control division had put additional efforts in place to target both dengue and chikungunya, efforts which are proven equally effective in combatting the Zika virus. The mosquitoes capable of transmitting Zika are the Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever mosquito) and the Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger mosquito). What makes these species unique is that they bite both during the day and at night, as well as indoors and outdoors. Unlike most other mosquitoes, they breed near residences in containers with standing water – not in large natural bodies of water.
“These mosquitoes are found in areas that collect and hold water around homes in places like tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools,” said Deutsch. “It’s also important to remove or refresh water in bird baths and pet dishes at least every week. Controlling these mosquitoes is really a community effort. We need all residents to take a look around their homes to see how they can help lower their risk of contact with these mosquitoes by eliminating unnecessary standing water.”
In addition, Deutsch recommends protecting yourself with insect repellent that contains DEET (N,N-Diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), which is the gold standard in bug spray.
Orange County Health Services Department’s Mosquito Control Division actively looks for sources of immature mosquitoes, as well as sprays to control the adult mosquito population and is a resource available to all citizens, including those who would like their property checked for these mosquitoes. Call 407-254-9120 for Mosquito Control, or dial 311 to learn more about related services provided by Orange County.
Editor’s note: The Florida Department of Health is the lead agency monitoring infectious disease within the state of Florida. Please contact DOH for the most recent information on reports of the Zika virus in Florida. The Centers for Disease and Prevention Control is the lead federal partner. Please visit the CDC website for information on the Zika virus. We are not able to release the location of the treated area.
Newsroom Story: Inside Orange County’s Mosquito Lab