CDC, EPA urge Puerto Rico to start aerial spraying to fight Zika mosquitoes

With Zika spreading rapidly across the island territory, both the CDC and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend the government of Puerto Rico and its citizens consider incorporating aerial spraying as a part of an integrated mosquito control program.

"Multiple independent data sources indicate that at current trends thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico will catch Zika," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD. "The continental U.S. has been using aerial spraying for decades to reduce mosquito populations, and we urge the people of Puerto Rico to consider using the same proven and safe tactic."

While studies have indicated that the mosquitoes of Puerto Rico are resistant to aerial formulations of pyrethroid insecticides, the CDC and EPA recommended using Naled, which is routinely applied to approximately 16 million acres within the continental U.S. and is a proven force in controlling mosquitoes and limiting exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses.

"Our recommendations for mosquito control in Puerto Rico are the same as our recommendations for mosquito control elsewhere in the U.S.," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "We strongly encourage the people of Puerto Rico to consider aerial spraying as this approach is safe for people and a proven way of controlling the spread of mosquitoes that transmit diseases from Zika to dengue to chikungunya."

More articles on the Zika virus: 
UPenn researchers say they have a portable $2 test for Zika  
K-State researchers take aim at Zika mosquitoes  
U.S. Olympians to participate in Zika study 

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