Environment & Energy Report

Mosquito Woes Threaten Puerto Rico as Floodwaters Recede

Sept. 29, 2017, 11:35 AM

A tropical disease epidemic could be brewing in Puerto Rico as the island territory struggles to emerge from Hurricane Maria’s floods and wreckage.

Public health researchers are concerned that, in coming weeks or months, dengue fever transmission rates will increase in Puerto Rico as a result of rising populations of the virus-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. Scattered debris, stagnant pools of water, and a lack of air-conditioning due to power outages will create an ideal breeding environment for the mosquito.

And finding a way to kill the mosquitoes could be difficult as many island residents have opposed insecticide spraying in the...

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