Mosquito population in Florida is the host for Zika disease

Gov. Rick Scott is making the rounds across the State of Florida discussing Zika Virus preparedness and his latest stop is taking place in Palm Beach County.

Scott met with health officials in Palm Beach County Thursday afternoon to discuss ways to prevent the Zika virus from spreading now that the rainy season is approaching.

“We’re clearly going to see more mosquitoes this year. We’re going to get more rain this year, we’ve got to all think about the fact that we don’t want to get bit, we don’t want to have Zika,” said Scott.

The Director of Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, Dr. Alina Alonso, said they’ve learned from the past and right now they want to continue to let the public how why it’s so important to be prepared.

“The mosquito population that we have in Florida is the host for this disease and as long as it’s in the community we’re going see it come up every year,” said Alonso.

Alonso admits the biggest concern is for pregnant women.

She said health clinics will continue to offer free pregnancy testing and she said the health department has increased its lab capacity so that most labs can test for Zika right here in the state, which means faster results.

Officials said they’ve also stepped up surveillance, have hired additional clinical staff and will have more resources.

The governor plans to get more funding if needed.

“Well we’re going do everything we need to have more funding we’ll do it. Last year I used my executive authority to do $61 million. I want to make sure we have the funding this year if we need it,” said Scott.

Health officials said their main focus is to educate the public and to remind everyone to use repellent, cover up and remove all standing water.

“Every single citizen in Palm Beach County can actually do something to prevent the spread of Zika that is getting rid of standing water around your homes. These mosquitoes only live around your homes so you’re in total control of eliminating them,” said Alonso.

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