mosquitoes

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

As the rainy season returns to South Florida and the fight against Zika gears up, the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Tuesday began a first-in-Florida trial of a control method that uses bacteria to reduce mosquito populations.

The district will release 20,000 male mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria twice a week for the next 12 weeks. The releases will take place in a 10-acre test site on Stock Island,  and mosquito traps there will be compared with a similar-sized control area nearby (but separated by a buffer).

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Florida has not had any locally transmitted cases of Zika so far in 2017. And the number of travel-related cases has fallen drastically in the dry season.

But tests of new mosquito-fighting methods are still moving forward in the Florida Keys.

The first U.S. trial of genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — the kind that carries Zika and dengue fever — is still on track for the Keys, just not on Key Haven. That's the island that Oxitec, the company that makes the genetically modified mosquito, chose for its test site.

Florida Researchers Find 2 New Invasive Mosquitoes

Jan 11, 2017

University of Florida researchers say they've found two new disease-carrying mosquito species in the state for the first time.


Officials plan to release lab-reared, bacteria-infected mosquitoes in the Florida Keys in March.


Nancy Klingener / WLRN

An argument that has been taking place in Mosquito Control board meetings, hotel conference rooms and Facebook comment strings finally moved to the ballot box on Tuesday.

With most of the vote in (32 of 33 precincts) the GMO mosquito question had split results.

In Key Haven where the test would take place, it's a resounding no - 65 to 35 percent. But the rest of the county said yes - 58 to 42 percent. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The first Florida trial of the Wolbachia bacteria to combat Aedes aegypti mosquitoes has been approved for the Florida Keys.

Aedes aegypti are the mosquitoes responsible for transmitting the Zika virus. They can also carry dengue fever and chikingunya.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services approved MosquitoMate's request for a trial of Wolbachia as a method of mosquito control in the Florida Keys.

South Florida has one more reason to hate mosquitoes: Miami-Dade County Health officials announced a case of locally-acquired Dengue fever Tuesday night.

In a press release, the Florida Department of Health  (DOH) in Miami Dade County announced it had confirmed a case of dengue fever that had been caught in the County.

The individual reportedly received treatment and is  “expected to make a full recovery,” althought the DOH indicated that it is "investigating close contacts around the individual to determine if additional people are infected."

Miami-Dade County on Wednesday will release the locations of mosquito traps that captured Zika-positive insects in Miami Beach, the result of a public dispute between state and local officials after the Miami Herald filed a lawsuit seeking the information.

The word came Tuesday evening, an hour after Gov. Rick Scott and Surgeon General Celeste Philip agreed that Miami-Dade can release the trap locations.

C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald

 

Good news for Wynwood residents and businesses: State and local officials said Monday the Zika virus is no longer being locally transmitted in the area.

Kyle Holsten, WLRN

Miami Beach’s efforts to control Zika-carrying mosquitoes have been challenged over the past two weeks by residents worried about possible adverse health effects of the pesticide naled.

Kate Stein / WLRN

Several hundred concerned citizens attended -- and often interrupted -- a heated, last-minute Miami Beach City Commission workshop to discuss use of the pesticide Naled to control mosquitoes that may carry Zika. They say they're worried the pesticide is more harmful than the birth defects that can be caused by the virus.

 

 

Kate Stein / WLRN

The total cost of mosquito control in Miami-Dade County became a bit clearer Tuesday, as officials released a preliminary look at the county’s 2016-2017 budget.

 

Fernando Llano AP

  This week, three batches of mosquitoes found in traps in Miami Beach tested positive for Zika. In another important development, the Florida Department of Health admitted  it may take longer for pregnant women to get their Zika test results back. WLRN’s health reporter Sammy Mack fills us in on the latest on the Zika epidemic in South Florida. 

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Daniel A. Gross/PRI

Just after noon on Thursday, a shadow passed in front of the sun, and the skies above East Africa dimmed. It was the middle of the day, yet it looked like evening.

As the solar eclipse began, I was in a tiny Tanzanian village called Lupiro, with a group of Danish and Swedish laser scientists and local experts on the behavior of malaria mosquitoes. We were joined by a throng of excited children who lived nearby. Together, with the help of dark tinted plates of glass, we stared up at the sun.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  While Florida Keys residents debate the use of genetically modified mosquitoes ahead of a November referendum, a new survey finds that a majority of Floridians supports the concept.

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