By Tamas Mondovics

To fight the spread of the Zika, local and federal health officials have been busy with tracking, testing and studying the virus as well as training and educating healthcare professionals and the public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DCD) the already infected mosquitoes—the same mosquitoes that spread dengue and chikungunya viruses—are aggressive daytime biters and can also bite at night.

The agency added that Zika can be passed through sex from a person who has Zika to his or her sex partners and as of now, there is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Under the direction of Public Works Director John Lyons and Code Enforcement Director Ron Spiller the workshop provided code officers training to identify and effectively remove potential mosquito breeding sites.
 
The effort is closely supporting a statewide initiative, and for a good reason.
 
According to a press release from the office of Florida Governor Rick Scott, as of September, 2016 there are more than 93 cases of locally acquired Zika in Florida. Scott said that an additional $10 million, for a total of $36.2 million, in state funds is to be spent solely for Zika preparedness and prevention in the state.

“Everyone must continue to take precautions by dumping standing water and wearing bug spray so we can protect pregnant women who are most at-risk for the Zika virus.

The good thing is that mosquitoes typically only travel a few hundred feet from their breeding sites so following some basic steps outlined by the Florida Department of Health can go a long way:

•Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots, buckets, watering cans, kiddie pools, and any other containers where rainwater has collected.

•Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that may collect water.

•Clean out rain gutters and downspouts regularly.

•Empty and clean birdbaths and pet water bowls at least once or twice a week.

•Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that do not accumulate water.

•Keep swimming pools in good condition, and maintain chlorination.

For more information, visit HillsboroughCounty.org/Mosquito.