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Zika Spread a Concern Post Hurricane Hermine


Standing water acts as a breeding

Now that Hurricane Hermine has come and gone in the U.S., the concern that Zika virus may spread is very real. With the heavy rains that poured into parts of Florida, standing water is a concern for residents across the state.

Florida Governor Rick Scott advised all communities to do their part to combat the Zika virus. To help the prevention efforts, residents will need to dump standing water, no matter how small.

Standing water in ditches, ponds and puddles isn't nearly as important to address as is standing water in man-made containers, such as buckets. Standing water in man-made containers is a concern because the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito, the species that transmits the virus, loves to breed in human habitats.

Zika Cases in the U.S.
Zika Cases in the U.S. (Source: CDC)

With the damage sustained by parts of Florida due to Hermine, man-made objects will likely be an easy target for the mosquitoes. Mosquito eggs can stick to containers and remain attached until scrubbed off. Eggs can potentaially survive even if they are dried out up to 8 months. It also takes only one week once hatched for new mosquitoes to become adults.

Mosquito prevention

Regarding mosquito prevention, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • Remove standing water from all types of containers.
  • If you cannot get rid of the water source, scrub the inside to get rid of the eggs.
  • Nothing is too small. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in objects as small as a bottle cap. So pay close attention to all debris that may hold mosquito eggs.

Anthony Hilderbrand Anthony Hilderbrand is currently a fire inspector and fire investigator for the Department of Defense. He spent the last eight years in the Air Force and held five distinctive positions within the fire service. During his tenure as an Airman he had three separate tours to the Middle East. With his Associates in Fire Science in hand, Anthony is currently enrolled at American Military University pursuing his Bachelor's in Fire Science Management.