How Have Zika Control Methods Changed Since Last Year?
Since last summer officials in Florida have gained control over Zika outbreaks within the state, and they are prepared for the worst. Houston, Texas has been following Florida’s example. Although Houston has not seen the same amount of Zika infections as southern Florida has, Houston is still a region of the United States that is quite vulnerable to mosquito-borne diseases. This is because of Houston’s geographical proximity to high risk areas. But Houston is also at greater risk than other areas of the US because of its high population. Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States, so if another Zika outbreak were to occur, Houston would most certainly be affected. If a major metropolitan area within the US were to experience an epidemic, then the rest of America would become much more vulnerable to outbreaks as well. This is why maintaining Zika control efforts in Houston is of the utmost importance. So how has Houston adapted to their vulnerability to the Zika virus?
Zika control efforts have improved tremendously in the city of Houston since last year. The city has increased its mosquito control budget by thirty three percent. Officials are continuing to experiment with high-tech mosquito trapping devices, and there are plans underway to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the environment.
The city of Houston will release genetically modified mosquitoes that will reduce the population of Zika carrying mosquitoes. Officials within areas of southern Florida have already released genetically modified mosquitoes into the environment with great success. Not only that, but city officials in Houston are prepared for aerial spraying and house to house inspections. These house inspections, although not popular among many residents, are nevertheless necessary to assess the risk to each household by documenting the amount of standing water within different properties. As you probably know, mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, so this method is particularly thorough, and necessary in order to protect the whole of America from a Zika outbreak.
Do you think enough measures are being taken to keep America safe from Zika outbreaks?