CDC: Zika-carrying mosquitoes resistant to chemicals

(KXAN)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Obama administration is warning that money to fight the Zika virus may soon run out if congress doesn’t soon approve funding to fight the problem.

Senator Marco Rubio says it has become a political issue. “I find it unbelievable that an issue of this magnitude could become a political volleyball and I think both parties are to blame for this,” said Rubio.

The secretary of Health and Human Services says the National Institutes of Health will exhaust its resources for vaccine development by month’s end.

The head of the CDC is warning that the mosquitoes that carry the virus are proving resistant to chemicals that are used to control them.

In Hillsborough County they are keeping a close eye out for mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus. Ron Montgomery with Hillsborough County Mosquito Control says he’s not surprised by the chemical resistant mosquitoes.

“Mosquito control has been concerned with resistance for quite some time. It’s not something that we are just now taking a look at,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery says the common practice to deal with the problem is to rotate chemicals, “There aren’t a lot new products coming on the market. We do have a pretty good tool box and we rotate regularly as part of our resistance management program, but there aren’t a lot of new things coming on the market that target mosquito control because it’s such a small industry,” said Montgomery.

Hillsborough County Mosquito control is monitoring for the Zika carrying mosquito, but Montgomery points out it’s a problem that everyone can help with, by emptying any containers of standing water where the mosquitoes commonly breed.

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that the state will be offering free Zika tests to pregnant women.

For personal protection, CDC recommends using insect repellents with the following ingredients:

  • DEET – Brands like Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, Ultrathon
  • Picaridin, also known as KBR 30236, Bayrepel, icaridin – Brands like Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, Autan (Outside US)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD) – Repel
  • IR3535 – Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition, SkinSmart

CDC reminds that the higher percentage of the active ingredient, the longer the protection the repellent provides.

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