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Pinellas slated for extra money to fight Zika

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Mosquito Control will receive a bit more than $106,000 in supplemental state funds for the month of August to combat the spread of the Zika virus.

Rick Scott 05.08.jpgThe funds are part of Gov. Rick Scott’s executive order that allocated $26.2 million in state funds for Zika preparedness, prevention and response in Florida. Each month, the risk across the state will be re-evaluated and funds may be reallocated.

The funding award comes as Pinellas County Mosquito Control continues to aggressively and proactively target the potential transmitters of the Zika virus. The division works daily to reduce the mosquito population by treating known breeding areas by ground and air, as well as responding to calls from residents with requests for localized evaluation and treatment.

“Pinellas County is pleased to leverage local and state resources in our fight against Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said Brian Lawton, the county’s mosquito control program coordinator. “We look forward to purchasing extra chemicals and equipment like hand foggers, backpack foggers and thermal foggers, equipping each technician in the field with what they need to continue doing this important job.”

Mosquito bites can irritate skin and potentially spread disease.

Residents are urged to protect their skin from mosquito bites when outdoors by wearing mosquito repellent (products containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus) and loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves and pants. Residents should also ensure doors and windows are sealed properly, along with ensuring screens are in place and intact. These preventive measures can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in Pinellas County and minimize mosquito-borne diseases, officials said.

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