Vol. 13, No. 7, July 2017

Printer-Friendly PDF Version

Rainy Conditions Lead to Zika and other Mosquito-borne Diseases

As we transition from drought to rainy conditions, mosquitoes will have more places to emerge. Some female mosquitoes need to take a blood meal to produce the next generation. In doing so, these insects can pass along infectious diseases such as Zika, West Nile virus, St. Louis Encephalitis virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus as they sip your blood.

It is important to remember that any standing water from rain storms or even everyday watering from irrigation can serve as breeding grounds for these vectors.

The newest mosquito-borne disease to be recognized in our state, Zika virus, spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito but can also be transmitted through sexual contact and passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child.

“The 2017 statewide hurricane exercise serves as an opportunity to practice our lessons learned from the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season and to solidify our valuable partnerships in preparation for the upcoming season,” said Bryan W. Koon, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

“Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Most people never know that they have been infected with the virus. ”

  Zika Virus (continued)

It is estimated that four out of five people with Zika virus infections have no symptoms at all. When symptoms do occur, the most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes).

Even in those who develop symptoms, the illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting from several days to a week.

More serious symptoms may include severe brain defects and developmental issues in fetuses (collectively known as Congenital Zika Syndrome), Guillain-Barre syndrome, and ocular effects in adults.

Understanding Zika vector control is an important step to reducing your exposure to mosquitoes that can transmit the virus. Please see the attached document for information on the primary Zika vector species. You can reduce mosquito breeding habitat around your homes and protect yourself from exposure.

For more information, visit

http://www.fda.gov/EmergencyPreparedness/Counterterrorism/Med icalCountermeasures/MCMIssues/ucm485199.htm?source=govdelive ry&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery


Florida Cattlemen’s Association Convention

In June, the annual Florida Cattleman’s Association Convention was held in Buena Vista. It was attended by over 1,400 cattle producers and their families, more than 300 allied industry representatives, and various department divisions. Commissioner Putnam, Dr. Lisa Conti, Ms. Erica Field and Dr. Joe Fisch attended, with Dr. Diane Kitchen providing an update during the Animal Health Committee meeting. Stephen Monroe managed a booth for producer outreach in the Allied Trade Show. The Trade Show was heavily supported with more than 170 booths.


Agroterrorism in the US: An Overview

The Sunshine State is no stranger to natural disasters ― hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires have done their share of damage in Florida. With 14 seaports and over 800 airports and airfields, the state is also at risk for man-made disasters

75 million tourists and billions of tons of freight enter Florida each year, making it vulnerable to threats like disease introduction and agroterrorism.

The University of Florida IFAS Extension team has developed a whitepaper, Agroterrorism in the US: An Overview, to advise on vulnerabilities of the nation’s infrastructure, including ways to defend against attack on agriculture networks.

According to the paper, “In the aftermath of 9/11, many resources were shifted from food safety to food biosecurity, with the intent to try to install sufficient deterrents that would lead to an improved condition of readiness within the agriculture and food sector.”

Further, the “FDA estimates the benefits of averting an actual terrorist attack on the US food supply would be approximately $130 billion. Thus, the cost of prevention is far less than a single large agroterrorism event.”

The report may be accessed at:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/FS /FS12600.pdf