Could a Zika epidemic start in your state? Absolutely

Michael Merchant, Extension Entomologist for Texas A&M AgriLife, shares the story of a Texas pest management professional who contracted Zika while on a mission trip in Dominica.

More than 1600 cases of Zika have been reported in the U.S. so far, but until last week all of these had been in travelers–people who caught the virus somewhere else and brought it here.  As of last week, however, the picture is changing.  Last week four cases among people who had not traveled outside of their town were reported from north Miami in south Florida.  In an alarming development for Miamians this morning, 10 new locally acquired cases were reported today, likely signaling the first home grown epidemic of Zika infection in the U.S. All cases so far have been restricted to the north Miami neighborhood of Wynwood.

Could this happen in Texas, or other states?  Absolutely.

When Jackie Thornton volunteered at his church to go on  a summer mission trip to the island of Dominica in the eastern Caribbean, the last thing on his mind was Zika virus.  Jackie is the owner of Alvin Pest Control in Alvin, TX, and long-time PMP.  “I was more worried about bed bugs,” he admitted.

But when he arrived on Dominica (pronounced doe men NEE kah), someone mentioned that Zika and Chikungunya cases had been reported on the island.

Read the rest of this post at Insects in the City.

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