Officials: Aerial Spraying Working Against Miami Mosquitoes

August 6, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The insects are to blame for first cases of Zika infection in U.S.

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Dennis Thompson

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Aerial spraying is killing many mosquitoes in a part of Miami where the insects have been linked to 16 cases of Zika infection, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Aerial spraying of the insecticide naled began Thursday and rapidly killed adult mosquitoes that ground-applied pesticides could not reach, according to Dr. Tom Frieden, the Associated Press reported.

The Zika infections in Miami are limited to a 500-square-foot area in the Wynwood neighborhood, according to Frieden. Florida Gov. Rick Scott said active infections have been halted in a 10-block area of the district, the news service reported.

There’s no evidence that mosquitoes are transmitting Zika, which can cause devastating birth defects, in any other areas of Miami, the Florida Department of Health said.

Federal health officials have said repeatedly that they expect to see Zika infections in the United States this summer, particularly in hot, humid states like Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

Most Zika infections have occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean. Brazil has reported the vast majority of cases and the birth defect microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and malformed brains.

U.S. officials said they don’t expect to see a Zika epidemic in the United States similar to those in Latin America. The reason: better insect control as well as window screens and air conditioning that should help curtail any outbreaks.

There is no vaccine yet or treatment for infection with Zika virus. Most people only experience mild symptoms.

The reports of insecticide success in Miami were the second bit of good news on the Zika front in the United States this week.

On Wednesday, U.S. health officials announced that a potential vaccine for the Zika virus had entered early clinical trials to assess its safety in humans.

The DNA-based vaccine contains genetic pieces of the Zika virus. It is intended to trigger an immune response that would protect against the mosquito-borne virus, according to a statement from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

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