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Bug off!

August 31, 2016
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

Recently the Florida Department of Health has identified Wynwood, a neighborhood in Miami, as an area where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. Since Gov. Scott has declared a public health emergency across Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Santa Rosa and Lee counties in the state of Florida, I have decided to take a preventive approach in ways to protect myself from mosquito bites.

After extensive research on how the Zika virus is spread to people, what better way to protect oneself than to build a Zika Prevention Kit. A Zika Prevention Kit should include insect repellent, permethrin spray, water treatment tab, bed net.

Personally, I like a natural insect repellent that has oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) as an active ingredient. Since most people do not buy permethrin treated clothes, treating your clothing and gear with permethrin can protect you against mosquito bites. Now that we are in the rainy season, standing water treatment tabs can be placed to kill larvae in standing water around the home. Mosquito netting can be used as a preventive method, especially if the home is not well screened or doors are left propped open. It has been well documented that Zika can be passed through sex from a person infected with Zika to his or her partner. As of now there is no vaccine that exists to prevent Zika.

The mosquito species that are capable of transmitting the Zika virus to humans are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albo pictus. Another way to protect oneself from mosquito bites is to contact Lee County Mosquito Control District at 239-694-2174 and request an adult mosquito treatment for your place of residence. I know I sound overly cautious but there's a wise old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Cesar Sanchez




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