Miami Facing The Risk Of Zika Virus

The Zika virus is spreaded mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. A number of countries have issued travel warnings, and the outbreak is expected to affect the tourism industry significantly. Several countries have taken the unusual step of advising their citizens to delay pregnancy until more is known about the virus and its impact on fetal development.

MIAMI — One recent sunny morning, Chalmers Vasquez, Miami-Dade County’s mosquito control manager, peered into a rain-filled Miller High Life bottle in a weedy backyard.

“This is very dangerous, this situation here,” he said, surveying a glistening pile of dozens more bottles at his feet.

A few steps away, his fears were confirmed. There, in a junked toilet lying on its side, he found the squiggling larvae of an Aedes aegypti mosquito — the type that is spreading the Zika virus and fear of grave birth defects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean — in a small pool of rainwater.

“A woman could get bitten by a mosquito and have a child with a terrible malformation.Pregnant women are considered to be at greatest risk from the virus. There is no vaccine for  Zika virus, which generally causes a rash, fever and joint pain that can last from one week to 10 days, according to the CDC. The virus is primarily transmitted by mosquito bites, but the CDC said infections have also been reported through blood transfusions and by men to their sexual partners.


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