Protecting Central Florida from malaria

Orange County Mosquito lab prepared to respond to any local cases

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health recently issued a statewide mosquito-borne illness advisory after four confirmed malaria cases in Sarasota County.

Steve Harrison, the Manager for Orange County Mosquito Control said his group of experts is ready to respond if a local case is detected.

Right now Harrison said there are no confirmed cases in Orange County.

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“Primarily I think the advisory would be for healthcare professionals to basically keep an eye out for patients that may show up at their hospital or clinic that may start showing signs of malaria, to let them know to keep an eye out. If we are notified of Malaria in the area,” he said.

If a case is confirmed in Orange County, Harrison said his team would take action immediately after being contacted by the health department.

“Then we will target our control measures in the area where the patient would have visited or was residing during the time they were sick because we want to knock down any adult mosquitoes that would have bitten the person when they were sick and we want to control any adult mosquitoes that could potentially bite the patient when they continue to be ill during the few week window while they are taking anti-Malaria medication,” Harrison said.

Harrison talked more about malaria response, prevention and other mosquito-borne illnesses with Tom Sorrells on Talk To Tom.

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About the Authors:

Tiffany produces the News 6+ Takeover at 5:30 p.m., Florida's Fourth Estate and Talk to Tom.

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.