DEET

Matti Parkkonen (Wikimedia Commons)

By Abe Aboraya

Florida travelers are catching serious mosquito-born diseases abroad, including dengue fever, chikungunya, malaria and Zika virus. Still, officials say the numbers are low and there’s no reason to panic. 

The next great insect repellent might come from a strain of bacteria that lives inside a common parasitic worm.

A study published Wednesday in Science Advances has found that a compound derived from these bacteria is three times more potent than DEET in repelling mosquitoes. More research must be done to demonstrate its safety, but this bacterial chemical could play an important role in the fight against mosquito-borne illness.

The Duval County Health Department Monday issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for Duval County.