Palm Beach County is now joining efforts to fight the mosquito-transmitted virus known as Chikungunya, which so far has infected one person in the county and 10 people total in the state.
The virus is rarely fatal but symptoms can include chronic pain that lasts for years.
“Look at your house, environment, make sure that you don´t have any standing water," says Tim O´Connor, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. "If you do, drain it off as much as possible.”
At dusk during a hot Miami summer, when you’re outside getting chewed on by countless mosquitoes, it’s easy to wonder how anyone ever decided to settle in South Florida.
The mosquitoes, in fact, were so bad for some early South Floridians that they had rooms at the front of their frontier shacks called “losers,” which contained smudge pots and palmetto branches to literally “lose” all of the bugs from your body before entering.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has agreed to work with a British company looking to test out genetically-modified mosquitoes in the U.S.
British biotechnology company Oxitec Ltd has been waiting for a U.S. federal agency to sign on as a partner so they could test out these altered mosquitoes in Key West.
In the past few years, Key West has had a problem with mosquitoes in the area spreading Dengue-- but Oxitec thinks they can kill off a large part of this mosquito population with their altered mosquitoes.