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Mosquitoes

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With standing storm water in several counties and the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses rising, Floridians have to worry about more than just putting on bug spray.

A University of Florida researcher has found three species of mosquitoes feeding on Burmese pythons in the Florida Everglades. Lawrence Reeves, a post-doctoral researcher at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Lab in Vero Beach, says he and his team have recovered python DNA from the blood meals of those mosquitoes, and that it may be possible to detect the presence of the snakes using the technique. We'll learn more about his research and plans going forward.

Human skin is a cornucopia of fragrances.

The bacteria living on our skin emit more than 200 odor chemicals.

"Many of these molecules smell quite pleasant," says biologist Jeff Riffell at the University of Washington. "They smell grassy or a little bit like mushrooms. Some human scents are the same ones found in flowers."

Other chemicals — well — they aren't so nice. "They're pretty funky," Riffell says, like an overripe Brie cheese or a musty basement.

Cold temperatures are breaking records in many parts of the country, bringing snow to Northern Florida, and sending a chill down the entire peninsula. And mosquitoes aren't too fond of the winter weather. 

State Reports Dozen More Zika Cases

Aug 8, 2017

Florida health officials added another 12 reported cases of the Zika virus during the past week, including the first sexually transmitted case in 2017, according to information posted on the state Department of Health website.

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.

Florida scientists have developed a new test for Zika that would produce results in less than an hour.

And the test can detect the Zika virus in the blood of humans or mosquitoes.

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.

New research shows the Zika virus was likely in the state earlier than health officials had previously thought—and had arrived in the state on multiple occasions.

Officials say a new pool of mosquitoes taken from Miami Beach has tested positive for Zika.


Officials from the Florida Department of Agriculture have found three Zika-positive mosquito samples in Miami Beach.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is ordering the state to spend millions to battle mosquitoes and prepare for the Zika virus.

Professors from the University of Florida have developed a mosquito trap that they say could help prevent the spread of the Zika virus. 
 
Professor Phil Koehler says the trap is proven to catch and kill mosquitoes but the public might not be able use it this summer because it’s awaiting federal approval. 

color:#333333">A central Florida lab can now test mosquitoes for the Zika virus.

color:#333333">County workers at Mosquito Control departments across the state can now send mosquitoes to the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Kissimmee. Once there, the insects are tested for Zika and its viral cousins, Dengue and chickungunya. 


The Zika pandemic has gotten people talking about mosquito control.

But humans aren’t the only ones affected by mosquito-borne diseases in South Florida.

Florida agriculture officials are distributing mosquito traps to areas that lack surveillance for the species that carries the Zika virus.

Commissioner Adam Putnam announced Thursday that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services held workshops in seven counties over the last two weeks for mosquito control and health officials.

Hillsborough County has confirmed its first case of West Nile Virus in a human this year.

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.

Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment.

Most of us will remember 2014 as the year Ebola came to the U.S. But another virus made its debut in the Western Hemisphere. And unlike Ebola, it's not leaving anytime soon.

The virus is called chikungunya: You pronounce it a bit like "chicken-goon-ya."

Pediatrician Jennifer Halverson will never forget her 36th birthday.

The St. Paul native was volunteering at a maternity clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She felt great — she went to her job that day and then out to dinner with friends.

But when she got home and went to sleep that night in May, something didn't feel right.

"Then I woke up at 3 in the morning," she says, "and what struck me the most was that my shoulders were on fire. It was like I was being stabbed in both shoulders."

Dengue Fever Pops Up In Florida

Aug 26, 2013

Dengue fever, a mosquito-borne illness, is back in Florida.

A handful of cases have been confirmed in Martin and St. Lucie counties in the past week. The cases there prompted a public health alert. Another case was seen in Miami-Dade, where officials issued a mosquito-borne disease advisory.

Three Cases of Dengue Fever Confirmed in Florida

Aug 15, 2013
James Gathany / Purdue University Public Health and Medical Entomology

The Florida Department of Health released a statement urging residents to take precautions against mosquitoes, due to three Martin and St. Lucie County residents contracting dengue fever. Locally-acquired dengue is very rare in the United States, despite over 100 million cases of the mosquito-borne disease worldwide each year. Florida Department of Health Environmental Health Director Bob Washam offers some advice on how to protect yourself.

New Case in EEE Mosquito Virus in Hillsborough County

Mar 25, 2013
Courtesy of Purdue University

Hillsborough County is seeing its first mosquito borne Eastern equine encephalitis case in three years.

The Hillsborough County Health Department says one person was infected with the virus in the northwest part of the county earlier this month. It says that person is recovering well.

Courtesy of Purdue University

If you don't already hate Tropical Storm Debby, just wait. 

All the standing water from Debby will soon spawn pesky, disease-carrying mosquitoes,according to Steve Huard, Public Information Officer with Hillsborough County Health Department.

"So the community really needs to kind of get ready and think about the risks associated with all the mosquitoes that will be out and about and make sure they have their mosquito repellent with DEET in it and just be ready for the next onslaught," Huard said. 

He says the mosquitoes should be here in a couple of days.