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BROWARD (CBSMiami) – They’re some of the most popular guys around Broward right now, the folks who kill mosquitoes.
Mosquito Control has been bombarded with calls since the governor declared a health emergency in Broward because of the Zika virus.
At the Broward County Mosquito Control office, workers are busy sorting out spray requested. More than 500 people called on Friday. This is a very large amount.
“It’s unusual,” Joe Marhfka from Mosquito Control said, “very unusual.”
Crews are busy treating areas of standing water – and there’s a lot of them because of all the recent rain.
“I’m very easily bitten by everything. The bugs just love me,” said concerned resident Gerri Bernstein. “And I will be concerned about mosquito bites. I have grandchildren, the same thing.”
What we’ve learned, is the type of mosquito flood water breeds poses no danger.
“What we’re seeing right now, the flood-water mosquito, those are not the type of mosquito that can carry the Zika virus or other viruses,” said Anh Ton from Broward Mosquito Control.
Ton told CBS4 that the type of mosquito that spreads the virus is more likely to be found in your backyard.
“The one that can carry it is the one we typically find around your house in small area of standing water like flower pots,” Ton said.
For that reason, people are urged to drain standing water around the house.
The Zika virus is not dangerous for most – many won’t even feel the flu like symptoms. The big concern is for pregnant women. The virus may be linked to a serious birth defect.
Karly Mangum just gave birth three weeks ago.
“I’ve heard about the pregnancy and how it can give birth defects,” she said. “And that freaked me out because of him.”
On Monday, extra crews will be called in to help keep up with all the calls for spraying.
But if there is one thing Florida has shown it can handle better than most states, it’s fighting off mosquito-borne outbreaks.
In 2014, chikungunya, a virus spread by the same species of mosquito as Zika, infected a million people in the Caribbean. While 452 travel-related cases were documented in Florida that year, just 11 people contracted the virus in the state. Last year, no locally acquired cases of chikungunya were reported, though 73 people picked up the virus while traveling.