Is the Mayaro Virus a Danger Here in Florida?

Actually, your first question most likely is what is it? Mayaro virus is a mosquito-borne illness typically found in South America and carried by the Togaviridae Alphavirus mosquito. Similar to dengue fever and chikungunya, the symptoms include a fever that lasts several days, headache, rash, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain. The joint pain can possibly last for up to a year.

Now the original question: Can we get Mayaro virus in Florida? Research is leaning toward the possibility. Barry Alto, associate professor of entomology at the University of Florida is watching the Mayaro virus very carefully. As it spreads from Venezuela into other parts of South and Central America, Alto wants to know if the mosquitoes that are in abundance in Florida, yellow fever, and Asian tiger mosquitoes, might also be able to carry it. A research group led by Professor Alto has found, by testing the saliva in these two types of mosquitoes, that they are very susceptible to carrying and transmitting the Mayaro virus.

What Does This Mean in Florida?

The answer to that is simple. We need to be careful and aware. We have a hefty supply of mosquitoes that can carry this virus. We have been subject to outbreaks of other mosquito-borne illnesses in the past. Remember the Zika scare just a few years ago? Our climate is perfect for mosquitoes. It’s wet, it’s warm… they love it here. We also have so many people that come and go in our state, even if it’s only to pass through. One infected person gets bitten by one mosquito that is capable of carrying the virus and it begins.

Mosquito Protection From What is and What Could Be

We hear all too often of new diseases that mosquitoes can carry. It seems they travel quite quickly. Preparation and protection are so important. The little things like using the best repellents aren’t so little anymore.

At Mosquito Squad of Greater Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra, we also remind you of our Ts of mosquito control. It starts in your own yard, but it also works its way out into our community. The best way to help avoid outbreaks of mosquito-borne illness is to control the mosquito population and we need to band together in the efforts to keep areas that could become breeding grounds clean and clear of standing water.

The best approach is a collective one. And we at Mosquito Squad are a big part of the collective. Our barrier sprays eliminate mosquitoes on the spot and continue to work for three weeks. We also stay informed of global activity and do our best to keep our customer, our neighbors, informed as well. Continue to follow us and don’t forget to schedule your season of protection with our treatment program.