Zika virus

Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons

Mosquitoes are a year-round downside to living in subtropical Miami, but millions of bacteria-infected mosquitoes flying in a suburban neighborhood are being hailed as an innovation that may kill off more bugs that spread Zika and other viruses.

Lab-bred mosquitoes are flying in South Miami. It’s the latest effort to stop the type of mosquito that spreads the Zika virus.

With less of a threat, the state of Florida has discontinued its Zika virus hotline.

A team of researchers has prevented Zika virus infection in monkeys —and they hope the new approach can be developed for use in pregnant women.

The small experimental trial found that monkeys given a cocktail of known Zika antibodies—special proteins the immune system makes to stop a virus—did not develop Zika after they were exposed to the virus.

The case counts are low, but Zika's still a threat.

That was the message of a meeting of county and state mosquito control officials Monday in Doral.


Weeks after a study linked a pesticide used for mosquito control to slight motor delays in babies, officials in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties say they plan to use that pesticide in aerial spraying scheduled in the coming week.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

On a hot, sunny Saturday morning at the Upper Tampa Bay Regional Public Library, Kathy and Dani Dahlberg walk up to a white truck holding portable fish tanks that emit a loud hum.

The new homeowners are trying to describe the size of their pond to Hillsborough County Mosquito Control officials.

Summer is upon us and that means more of the bugs that made international headlines last year – mosquitos. What progress has been made in the fight against the Zika virus? Can we cure Zika, or prevent it? And what can residents do to help?

Zika In America: One Mother’s Saga

Jun 13, 2017
Heidi de Marco/KHN

When her daughter was born at Providence St. Peter Hospital in January, the first thing Maria Rios checked was the baby’s head.

She’d seen the terrifying photos on the internet — infants in Brazil and in Puerto Rico whose skulls were misshapen, even collapsed, ravaged by the Zika virus that has engulfed Latin America.

The pesticide widely used to fight Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Florida and across the nation has been linked to deficits in motor functions in Chinese babies, according to a new study.

Matti Parkkonen (Wikimedia Commons)

Summer is quickly approaching, and that means more of the bugs that made international headlines last year -- mosquitos. What can residents do to prepare for the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses?

Florida Matters wants to hear from you. 

Mosquito Control: Tips for the Rainy Season

Jun 1, 2017

Drain and cover. That's the message Miami-Dade County mosquito control specialists want the public to hear. 

Mosquitos can lay more than 100 eggs at a time, and they do so in standing water. Even a bottle cap of water is big enough.

Mosquitos can carry the West Nile virus and the Zika virus, among other things. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include information on how Sanofi Pasteur was chosen as the company to license the Zika vaccine.

The U.S. Army is planning to grant an exclusive license to the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. to manufacture and sell a Zika vaccine the Army developed last year.

And that has Rebekah Gee, Louisiana's secretary of health, worried about paying for it.

Last year's Zika outbreak in Miami likely started in the spring of 2016, with the virus introduced multiple times before it was detected, researchers say. And most of those cases originated in the Caribbean.

Summer is peak mosquito season, and that means greater concern about the Zika virus.

On Thursday, representatives from the Centers for Disease Control and the Florida Department of Health gave updated information about the virus to a group of scholars at the University of South Florida College of Public Health. 

Here we go again.

A Senate panel approved a bill that authorizes an additional $100 million in grant funding to fight the mosquito-carrying Zika virus. The bill could now be voted on by the full Senate before summer begins, but only if Congress doesn’t repeat last year’s delay that saw the money tied up by political wrangling for months.

The money approved Tuesday would fund local mosquito-control efforts, centers that test for the virus and research into improving mosquito-control programs.

Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are worried the Zika virus may be causing epilepsy. The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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).

With the rainy season approaching and mosquitoes breeding at this time of year, Gov. Rick Scott and community leaders urged residents to remain aware and take necessary precautions against mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus.

At a community roundtable on Monday at the Department of Health in Miami, the governor stressed the importance of residents’ actions to help prevent Zika-related infections.

This year we've learned an amazing amount about Zika — how it damages developing brains, how it spreads through sexual contact and where in the world (and the U.S.) it's hiding out.

WMFE

The University of Florida will lead a new research program focused on stopping diseases such as Zika from becoming widespread in the U.S.

Three More Pregnant Women Diagnosed With Zika

Nov 2, 2016
WMFE

Florida health officials Tuesday reported seven more cases of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, including three infections involving pregnant women.

First Coast mosquito control workers are fighting a spike in the disease-carrying insects after Hurricane Matthew.

Both St. Johns and Duval Counties recently turned to aerial spraying to better combat the swarms that are attracted to standing water — but the two counties differed in the type of advance notice they've given residents.  

A coalition known as Floridians for Reproductive Freedom delivered a letter to Governor Rick Scott's office Wednesday morning, calling for additional efforts to combat the Zika virus.

Saying they represent over 50 organizations from across the state, a small group of people stopped by Scott’s capitol office asking the governor for better sex education for young people, easier access to abortion and other contraceptive services, and an expansion of Medicaid so more residents of Florida have health insurance in case they get sick from the virus.

Wikimedia Commons

The Florida Department of Health Tuesday announced that Florida Zika cases have now exceeded 1,000.

Miami Herald photographer Carl Juste wanted the best possible shot of the mosquito control plane that was aerially spraying Miami Beach.

So just before 6 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 18, he drove to the top of the parking garage on Collins Avenue and 16th Street, got out of his car and started taking pictures.

The U.S. Senate has again blocked a bill that would have provided funds to help combat the Zika virus.

The U.S. Senate announced Thursday that a bipartisan Zika funding deal has been struck and a vote could take place next week. But, in the meantime, Governor Rick Scott has authorized $25 million to go toward researching a vaccine to combat the Zika virus.

Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood may be celebrating this week’s lifting of the suspected Zika transmission map, but Dr. Tom Frieden of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people in Miami-Dade County not to let their guards down.

Orange County will refrain from aerial spraying of the insecticide naled to fight Zika, even if there is local transmission.

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