In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) press conference today following Florida Governor Rick Scott’s announcement of 10 additional autochthonous Zika virus cases, Director Dr Tom Frieden said they are deploying a CDC Emergency Response Team or CERT team to Florida at the request of Scott. “We already have two staff on the ground in Florida, three more en route today and two more will be arriving in Florida — three more, I should say, will be arriving in Florida tomorrow, ” Frieden said.
Dr Frieden also expressed concern over the lack of success with mosquito control in Miami. “In Miami, aggressive mosquito control measures don’t seem to be working as well as we would have liked. This may happen for at least one of three reasons.
“First, it’s possible that the mosquitoes there are resistant to the insecticides that have been used. Second, it’s possible that there are what we call cryptic breeding places or small amounts of standing water where mosquitoes continue to hatch. And third, it’s possible simply that this is a very difficult mosquito to control, particularly in a complex urban environment like the one north of downtown Miami.
“In any case, the vector control expert CDC sent will work with Florida authorities to begin resistance testing so we can determine whether mosquitoes in this area are susceptible to the insecticides being used. That testing, however, is complex and takes at least a week and sometimes three weeks or more. So the mosquito control experts in Florida who have extensive experience with mosquito control as well as our own mosquito control experts are meeting intensively to outline additional measures that may be taken to reduce mosquito populations.”
He believes that more cases are expected saying, “There are undoubtedly more infections because most people infected with Zika don’t have symptoms. People infected a week or two ago may also have their infections diagnosed. Nothing that we have seen indicates widespread transmission but it’s certainly possible there could be sustained transmission in small areas.”