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Researchers Discover 2 New Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes in Florida

Researchers in the Florida Everglades have discovered two new tropical disease-carrying mosquitoes, raising fears that new mosquito-borne diseases could take hold in the state, Fox News reports. The good news is that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that the viruses these two mosquitoes carry are difficult to transmit.

The Zika virus made headlines last year when the Brazilian government blamed Zika-carrying mosquitoes for increases in microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with unusually small heads. Brazil later admitted that it likely wasn’t the virus causing the microcephaly. They stopped short of blaming pesticides, but did note the microcephaly outbreak occurred in a poverty-stricken area that uses large amounts of banned pesticides.

When the same mosquito was found in the U.S. the CDC’s solution was aerial spraying for this mosquito with pesticides that were up for re-evaluation by the EPA, despite the fact that it was relying on unpublished data to justify it.

Subsequently, naled, an organophospate insecticide known to interfere with proper working of your nervous system, was sprayed. Organophosphates as a group are also linked with shortened pregnancies, lowered IQ and increased risk of attention deficit disorder (ADD). Interestingly, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott was found to have undisclosed financial interests in the mosquito control company used for the spraying.

And, just as interesting, the American Mosquito Control Association has lobbied Congress to pass HR 935, which would allow them to discharge these and other chemicals without limits, monitoring or reporting requirements. One can only wonder if this latest mosquito scare will prompt more spraying and new lobbying to the new Congress.