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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The number of virus-carrying mosquitoes is up in the Southern U.S., according to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The department said this includes mosquitoes that can spread chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses.
The research, published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, show a 21 percent increase in Aedes Aegypti and a 10 percent increase in Aedes Albopictus.
The data was collected during surveys in the Spring and Fall of 2016 in areas where both types of mosquitoes were found, including in South Florida.
The CDC says the findings highlight the need for counties to continue improving mosquito surveillance programs – adding that the new information can be used to plan mosquito control measures to prevent outbreaks.
To take prevention into your own hands, you can do the following:
- Avoid mosquito bites – Use insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535. Don’t forget to reapply.
- Treat your clothing & gear – Use permethrin on your items to keep away mosquitoes. Do not apply it directly to your skin.
- Control Mosquitoes in your home – Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes where mosquitoes might get in.
- Control Mosquitoes outside – Get rid of standing water around your home including buckets, fountains, and potted plants among other things. That’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Plan for travel – If you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant, avoid areas with the Zika virus. Talk to your doctor about your travel plans if you must go. Once you get back, check with your doctor to find out if you need to be tested for Zika. Check the latest Zika travel notices.
- Protect Yourself During Sex– You can get Zika from vaginal, anal, or oral sex with a male or female partner. Make sure to use protection.
Click here to read more on mosquito-related viruses and how it affects you.