Hillsborough County Combats Zika Virus (And Tires)

Swelteringly hot, humid air and a fever sweat that still make you feel so, so, cold.

Sound like the travelogue of a doomed explorer of the Brazilian Amazon?


Try residents of Hillsborough County.

The Hillsborough County Commission approved the spending of $475,870 to combat the spread of the mosquito borne Zika virus on Wednesday. The board passed the measure to fund mosquito traps as well as overtime pay to combat the spread of the virus.

County workers guided by public works director John Lyons are working to install mosquito traps and inspect all sources of standing water; including the kiddie pool left in your backyard from that ill-fated Gasparilla party.

Of particular interest to the county commission were discarded tires, which can gather water and act as breeding grounds for all types of insect larvae. A station in Wimauma has been set up to collect all tires deemed high-risk for water collection.

The soon-to-be mosquito traps are simply bait to attract the disease-carrying buggers. The county has plans for chemical sprays on backup, but told the Tampa Tribune’s Mike Salinero that since they have not detected the type of mosquitos that carry the virus, they have refrained from using them.

HillsboroughCounty and several other counties were declared to be in a state of public health emergency by Gov. Rick Scott on the Third of February after the second case was documented in Hillsborough, the ninth in the state. Since then, the number of cases in Florida has shot up to 22, recorded in eight different Florida Counties.

In case you have been hiding under a rock, or that same ill-fated kiddie pool:

The Zika virus was first documented
in Brazil late last year. The symptoms for Zika are not unlike a mild fever. However, the side effects for women who contract the virus while pregnant can see the effects of microcephaly, an often fatal shrinking of the skull, in their newborns.

The World Health Organization 
declared that the birth defects of microcephaly, not the Zika virus itself, were the cause for a world public health emergency on the first of February of this year.

Not quite the time to break out the 
“End Is Near Signs” and retreat to survivalist bunkers, but consider the usesome bug spray if you are settling down and starting a family.

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