Reuters: Florida facing serious threat from two mosquito-borne diseases


Two mosquito-borne diseases – dengue fever and chikungunya – are posing a serious threat to Florida and residents should take steps to control mosquito populations to try to limit the danger, a leading health expert said on Wednesday.

The last statewide epidemics in Florida of dengue occurred in the 1930s. Localized epidemics of dengue occurred in 2013 in a small neighborhood in Jensen Beach where 24 people were infected.

Walter Tabachnick, director of the Florida Medical Entomological Laboratory in Vero Beach, said epidemiologists are worried that mosquitoes in Florida may have picked up the diseases by biting infected people, which could kick off an epidemic in the state.

“The threat is greater than I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Tabachnick, who has worked in the field for 30 years.

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