Pinellas County stepping up efforts to prevent Zika

AP file photo

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pinellas County is ramping up efforts to combat the Zika virus.

County officials are doing everything they can to control the mosquito population. This comes after Florida’s first Zika-related case of microcephaly was reported Tuesday.

In the mornings mosquito control teams have been using a helicopter to spray for the bugs. At night county officials have used fog trucks.

Officials will host a mosquito awareness meeting Thursday.

Meanwhile, at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital doctors are prepared in case a baby with the virus is born there.

“We’re aware of it. We talk about it every day and just trying to provide the services these children may need when they’re born,” Dr. George Jallo said. “We are prepared for it, but unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do to prevent Zika at this time.”

For now, doctors are researching the impact the virus has on children. Medical specialists believe it could be a while before there’s a cure.

“Given that it’s a relatively new entity that we’re seeing in the world, we don’t know the long term. It’s just been around for a year and it’s going to be long-term. We don’t know what the future has for these children,” Dr. Jallo said.

On Wednesday News Channel 8 talked with families enjoying the day. The McAndrews were at Vinoy Park – with mosquito repellent.

“When we go outside we try to make sure to keep bug lotion on the kids and just cover up. We don’t always have the bare skin and everything,” Eric McAndrews said.

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