To Track Zika, Florida is Setting More Mosquito Traps

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By: Associated Press
May 5, 2016

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida agriculture officials are distributing mosquito traps to areas that lack surveillance for the species that carries the Zika virus.

Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Thursday that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services held workshops in seven counties over the last two weeks for mosquito control and health officials.

Department spokeswoman Jenn Meale says the state has purchased over 300 traps that target two mosquito species that carry the virus linked to birth defects.

Mosquito control efforts vary statewide, so the traps can help municipalities that previously lacked those resources. Meale says mosquitoes caught in the traps will be tested for Zika, dengue and chikungunya in a state laboratory where monitoring for animal viruses now includes those diseases.

The traps add to existing mosquito-borne illness surveillance by Florida's health department.

By: Associated Press
May 4, 2016

TALLAHASSE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida's governor says the U.S. government needs to prepare for the Zika virus like it's a hurricane.

Forecasts for a hurricane threatening U.S. coasts trigger certain federal response operations. In a statement Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott says lawmakers and administrators in Washington owe citizens "a vigorous and thorough preparation effort at the federal level" to protect citizens before Zika spreads here.

Scott plans to meet with Congressional leaders about Zika next week. Congress has gridlocked over President Barack Obama's $1.9 billion request for emergency funding to fight Zika.

Scott says many things about Zika remain unknown "like the movements of a hurricane."

Florida health officials have documented over 100 cases in the state, among over 420 cases nationwide. Health officials say all those cases stem from international travel.

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