Florida's public health authorities are sounding the alarm about the heightened mosquito risks and diseases during an exceptionally active hurricane season. Mosquitoes proliferate rapidly after hurricanes, especially when accompanied by heavy rainfall or storm surges. Sandra Fisher-Grainger, President of the Florida Mosquito Control Association, emphasizes the intricate relationship between climate change, increased travel, and trade, all of which contribute to the spread of both mosquitoes and diseases which culminate to create increased mosquito risks.
Hurricane Idalia, a formidable Category 4 storm in August, led to significant flooding in parts of Hernando County. This flooding posed challenges for debris removal and exacerbated the mosquito risks and problems. Fisher-Grainger underscores the continuous learning process in mosquito control, with Florida witnessing the discovery of nearly a dozen new mosquito species over the past ten years.
Mosquito Risks And Control
Phil Goodman, Wade Brennan, and Casey Parker-Crockett share Fisher-Grainger's commitment to a multifaceted approach to mosquito control. Goodman, who serves as Chairman of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, identifies the Aedes aegypti mosquito as the primary threat in the Florida Keys due to its role in transmitting dengue fever. Recent instances of locally acquired dengue cases prompted alerts in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, while an advisory alert for malaria in Manatee and Sarasota counties was recently lifted.
Brennan, as the Manager of Sarasota County Mosquito Management Services, applauds the proactive response to dengue cases. Parker-Crockett, whose research on Zika-infected mosquitoes and their insecticide resistance was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, contributes to ongoing mosquito population management efforts.
Mosquito Control At Home
While eradicating all mosquitoes remains an arduous task, a dedicated community of professionals strives relentlessly to preserve Florida as a safe and desirable place to live and visit. For guidance on mosquito control at home, individuals can refer to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendations. Additionally, for insights into preventing mosquito bites, the CDC offers a dedicated resource.
With the Atlantic hurricane season extending until November 30, maintaining vigilance and proactive mosquito control efforts in Florida remains crucial.
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