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Mayaro Virus: Florida’s Next Mosquito-Borne Illness?

Florida has the perfect breed of mosquitoes and climate for the disease. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

There have been no cases of Mayaro viruses in Florida yet, but University of Florida’s Barry Alto there could be if it continues to spread from South America. He says Florida has the right climate and mosquitoes for Mayaro. Florida has seen a rise in other mosquito-borne diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya.

“We’ve had three major viruses with local transmission in Florida. In ten years. Two of those three have occurred in the last few years. It’s not the last. There will be other viruses that emerge.”

Alto says there’s no vaccine for the disease, but it’s rarely fatal. It usually causes flu-like symptoms and joint pain.

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Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.