Miami Spraying Insecticide from Small Planes to Kill for Zika Mosquitoes
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Just hours after the Miami area began using small airplanes to spray insecticide over the region in order to kill Zika-carrying mosquitoes, the mayor's office announced that a fresh pool of the insects had tested positive for the virus.
According to NBCNews.com, the planes spraying the insecticide were dispatched in the early morning hours Friday in order to minimize the possible effects on beneficial insects such as bees. The flights came a day after they were scheduled to begin, though, due to protests from angry residents in the area.
“The fact that a fourth Zika-positive mosquito pool has been identified in Miami Beach serves as further confirmation that we must continue our proactive and aggressive approach to controlling the mosquito population, including our recent decision to begin aerial spraying in combination with larvicide treatment by truck,” Miami Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in a statement.
The Miami-Dade County Mosquito Control team made its first pass in small airplanes Friday and once again Sunday. The planes will also spray over the next two weekends, using the winds to disperse the insecticide in the early morning hours.
The insecticide—known as naled—is safe in small amounts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency. The Zika virus is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, and CDC officials are pushing for the insecticide to continue being used despite protests from some resident who question the safety of the method.
With Miami Beach dealing with a small outbreak and a total of 56 confirmed local cases in Florida, officials are pushing hard for regions impacted by the virus to use both pesticides and larvicides to combat the possibly infected mosquitoes.
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