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Fears over spread of Zika virus from storm

27 August 2016

Experts in the US are concerned over the possible spread of the Zika virus as they prepare for a storm which is expected to hit Florida and the Bahamas this weekend, reported.

According to Jason Rasgon, associate professor of entomology and disease epidemiology at Penn State University, who spoke to AccuWeather, while the chance of mosquitoes travelling through the powerful weather system was unlikely, the storm could have a negative impact on mosquito control efforts.

A storm could prevent mosquito control workers from spraying insecticides, and previously sprayed insecticides could be washed away by storm waters. Storms could also leave behind standing water, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

AccuWeather has suggested that standing should water be dumped and people should use mosquito repellent and appropriate clothing to prevent mosquito bites.

Meanwhile, homegrown cases of the Zika virus had struck over 40 people in Florida, a state that like Arizona was heavily dependent on tourism.

This was in addition to the over 500 cases brought to Florida from outside the US, NBC News reported.

Government officials are working to control the damage and health officials had told pregnant women to stay away from the Miami area.

Meanwhile, plans to release genetically modified mosquitoes, had led to debates with some claiming it would reduce the strain of mosquitoes that carried the virus and others saying it was "Jurassic Park science" and doomed to backfire.

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