Orlando International Airport releases Zika prevention plan

21 confirmed Zika virus cases reported in Florida


ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando International Airport released on Tuesday its Zika prevention plan in an effort to take proactive measures to address Zika concerns.

[MORE: Zika virus info Travel notices | Symptoms, treatment | Drain and cover | Zika insect repellants ]

The plan consists of working with the airport's on-staff biologist to monitor the mosquito population and enhance the mosquito spraying program on airport property, along with increasing employee awareness of mosquito habits and to stay informed with the state health department and CDC.

“We have been monitoring the Zika virus reports and consulting with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County along with the Centers for Disease Control to develop a response program,” says Phil Brown, executive director of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority in a release. “Working in conjunction with our community partners, we feel these steps are not only appropriate but necessary to demonstrate our efforts at protecting our passengers and employees.”

Meanwhile, commissioners in Orange County heard from mosquito control experts about preventing spread of the virus.

"Our concern would be for a local transmission. We do have the type of mosquito which could transmit the virus," said Dr. Christopher Hunter, director of the Health Services Department.

Hunter said the type of mosquito that can carry the Zika virus is commonly found in Orange County.

"It's found almost anywhere humans live and where standing water can accumulate. We find them almost anywhere we look for them," said Hunter.

To control population of the insect, mosquito control workers will monitoring traps set around the county, but Hunter said they also need the help of the public.

Sine the mosquito that can carry Zika only breeds in artificial containers, Hunter urged property owners to dump standing water outside and dispose of unused containers.

On Monday, the Florida Department of Health reported 21 confirmed cases of Zika in the state. 

All cases are travel-related and have not been locally acquired, officials said.

The following counties have confirmed Zika virus cases:

Hillsborough: 3 cases
Miami-Dade: 7 cases
Lee: 3 cases
Santa Rosa: 1 case
Broward: 4 cases
St. Johns: 1 case
Osceola: 1 case
Alachua: 1 case

Residents can reach the Zika information hotline at 855-622-6735.