Turbine Sprayers Deployed to Fight Zika Mosquitoes in South Florida

A new area with Zika transmission was been identified in Miami-area.

ByABC News
October 18, 2016, 4:01 PM

— -- Mosquito control officials in Miami-Dade and Broward County, Florida are continuing to fight the Zika virus with an unusual method: turbines on trucks. As new cases -- and new areas of local transmission -- continue to be identified, health departments are varying the approaches to reduce risk.

The vehicle-mounted turbines can spread larvacide in areas at risk for Zika transmission more efficiently than the previously-used handheld sprayers that had to be walked around neighborhoods. In addition to aerial spraying tactics, the turbines can cover a larger amount of ground in a short time.

The turbines are being used in a new area of Miami, where officials have identified Zika as being actively transmitted via mosquitoes. This area is the third zone that has been reported to have active Zika transmissoin in the the the city. After the area was identified last week, mosquito control officials and health officials have taken actions to reduce the mosquito population and search for signs of other Zika infections in the area.

"As of yesterday we conducted 1,431 door to door inspections in that area," a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Program told ABC News today.

The program is using larvacide as the primary treatment to ward off mosquitoes. "They [have] got people going by and looking for any obvious breeding, they treat and turn over any standing water and treat any fixed water."

The turbines are being used in Miami-Dade county and now in neighboring Broward County, as well.

Two previous zones with active transmission of the Zika virus were identified in northern Miami and Miami beach. The zone in northern Miami was declared free of ongoing Zika transmission last month.

However, yesterday the Florida Health Department reported there had been four new cases of locally-transmitted Zika virus -- two of which are in the newly-identified zone. At least seven people, in total, are believed to have been infected with Zika in the new area.