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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency Urge Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to Consider Aerial Spraying as Part of Integrated Mosquito Control to Reduce Zika-Associated Birth Defects
Acting on data from multiple scientific studies in Puerto Rico that show that Zika is spreading rapidly and is a major risk to pregnant women and their fetuses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommend the people and the government of Puerto Rico consider implementing aerial spraying as part of an integrated mosquito control program.
“Multiple independent data sources indicate that at current trends thousands of pregnant women in Puerto Rico will catch Zika,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “The continental United States has been using aerial spraying for decades to reduce mosquito populations, and we urge the people of Puerto Rico to consider using the same proven and safe tactic.”
“Our recommendations for mosquito control in Puerto Rico are the same as our recommendations for mosquito control elsewhere in the United States—integrated pest management,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “An integrated and comprehensive approach includes reducing places where mosquitoes lay eggs, keeping them out of houses, and reducing the populations of both larval and adult mosquitoes by treating areas with EPA-approved products. We strongly encourage the people of Puerto Rico to consider aerial spraying as this approach is safe for people and a proven way of controlling the spread of mosquitoes that transmit diseases from Zika to dengue to chikungunya.”
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