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UF researchers find second mosquito species can carry Zika virus

Resarchers say a second mosquito species can carry the Zika virus

A second mosquito species can carry the Zika virus.

That’s the finding of researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), after working with mosquitos in Brazil, the epicenter of the Zika outbreak.

Mihai Ungureanu, who brought his nearly 2-year old daughter to a Palm Beach Gardens playground on Wednesday, said he and his wife have taken the Zika threat seriously.

"Most of the time I was keeping her in the house,” said Ungureanu, referring to his daughter. “That way we are sure she's not going to get bites."

What does Ungureanu think about the just-released findings from the UF researchers?

"Wow," responded Ungureanu.

Yes, it sounds ominous.

But staffers at both Palm Beach County Mosquito Control and Health Department, say the impact here from a second carrier species may be minimal.

For starters, the mosquito already known to spread Zika, the Aedes aegypti, is much more prevalent in our area. The newly-known Zika carrier, Aedes albopictus, does better in more temperate climes.

Also, both species breed in containers, plant material and tree holes, and fly in the daytime.

So prevention measures are the same: Tip over receptacles with standing water, and use repellent and cover skin to avoid getting bit.

Ungureanu said he takes to heart, with his little one in mind.

“It's better that way to be safe, better safe than sorry," said Ungureanu.

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