Recent reporting from Kaiser Health News, WLRN & the Miami Herald reveals that
- At least 55 pregnant women in Florida have tested positive for Zika Virus, all of whom were apparently infected while traveling outside the US
- The number of cases of Zika virus transmission from Florida mosquitoes now stands at 15
- At least one child has been born in Florida with microcephaly, one of the potential birth anomalies that has been tied to Zika virus.
See the article “Zika Is ‘Game-Changer’ For OB-GYN Doctors In Florida” for full details.
Obviously, the presence of Zika in Florida is troubling, and is provoking all sorts of response from the healthcare community as well as public officials.
Ways to Avoid Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
The inherent problem with much of the response being debated is that solutions like a “vaccine” will require significant time for research and trials to run their course, and then can be problematic in and of themselves.
In the absence of preventive measures from medicine, prevention of mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus comes down to just a few basic methods.
- Avoid Mosquitoes
- Repel Mosquitoes
- Prevent the Mosquitoes from Biting
The first 2 options are pretty obvious. To avoid mosquitoes, you can stay away from any areas of the State of Florida where standing water may be. In light of our recent weather, this will likely mean leaving the state altogether or just staying indoors. Repelling mosquitoes is a little bit more problematic, as products like DEET, which experts seem to agree is one of the most effective mosquito repellents, are more and more problematic as new research comes to light.
The 3rd option, however, is a new one. And it’s very intriguing.
A Sarasota, Florida company called Penta Five USA, LLC has developed a method that that apparently causes female mosquitoes to be repulsed at the thought of ingesting blood from mammals. Think of it as the mosquito equivalent of having your stomach turn at the thought of certain foods you can’t stand. The company claims that its product will have this affect on any mosquitoes within a certain radius of the location where their product is installed in any outdoor area.
Sarasota-based Good News Pest Solutions is the exclusive service provider for this product. Owner Dean Burnside can now be seen on local television touting the formula as all-natural (“organic” even!) and not harmful to the mosquitoes. It turns out that mosquitoes are natural pollinators (who knew?) and only the females bite mammals or crave blood at all, and then only when they have eggs to lay. When they encounter this product, they are said to be interested only in the fructose that they would normally ingest during pollination.
More details on the Mosquito Protection Program from Good News Pest Solutions can be found here.