KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today toured the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, which has recently been equipped to test mosquitoes for the Zika virus. The laboratory, located in Kissimmee, Fla., can now test for the virus in the vector mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, and it has tested samples from four counties to date. All results were negative.
The laboratory routinely tests for diseases that affect both animals and humans, such as Avian Influenza, Tuberculosis and West Nile Virus. In response to the Zika public health crisis in Florida, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam had the laboratory updated to be able to test mosquito samples.
“With the height of mosquito season fast approaching, and the number of travel-related cases of Zika in Florida leading the nation, it is paramount that we use every tool available to protect Floridians and visitors,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “We will continue to support the Florida Department of Health and local mosquito control programs in this collaborative effort.”
While the Florida Department of Health is the lead agency in this public health crisis, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has continued to support efforts by:
- Regularly communicating with local mosquito control districts to discuss mosquito surveillance and mosquito control efforts;
- Co-hosting with the University of Florida seven workshops for mosquito control programs throughout the state;
- Educating private pest control operators on Zika-specific responses should they need to augment existing response efforts;
- Providing technical assistance to mosquito control districts and the Department of Health regarding the CDC’s arbovirus guidelines; and
- Obtaining and disseminating traps specifically for the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
For more information regarding Zika, visit the Florida Department of Health’s website.