• Second reported Zika case in St. Johns County brings Florida total to 118

    By: Deanna Bettineschi, Action News Jax


    A second case of Zika virus has been reported in St. Johns County.

    There are now a total of 118 cases of Zika virus in Florida.

    Thirty six cases involve pregnant women in Florida. 

    UNF professor Doria Bowers has been studying mosquitoes for 30 years specifically Aedes Aegypti and the Aedes Albopictus.

    They’re both in Florida.

    “Both of those mosquitoes vector Zika,” said Bowers.

    She said back in 2010, they developed a mixture that stunted the growth of mosquitoes.

    “We were doing different experiments and a student said, ‘I'm so upset my mosquitoes won't pupate,’ and I said, ‘What?,’” said Bowers.

     If they can’t grow into an adult, she said they can’t bite, which means they can’t spread viruses like Zika.

    They patented the mixture and are now going to test this week, whether it works in larger tubs of water.

    “We’re now at a point in time were trying to ramp this study up,” said Bowers.

    She said the mixture is biologically safe and nontoxic.

    It could take a few weeks to see if the inhibitors work on a larger scale in this current phase of testing.

    The Florida Department of Health announced the new case in St. Johns and a second in Seminole County on Tuesday.

    For a list of Florida counties with reported Zika cases and more information about the virus, visit the Florida Department of Health website.

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