Residents on alert after Zika Virus reported

Posted at 3:23 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 15:23:59-04

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. -- A Martin County resident has tested positive for the Zika Virus, marking the first case confirmed in the county.

Health officials say the resident traveled to the Dominican Republic, which is where they believe the resident was infected with the virus.

“In some ways we were expecting it to happen,” said Don Donaldson, Director of the Martin County Engineering Department, which oversees mosquito control.

Neighboring counties have already reported numerous cases of the ZIka Virus.

Donaldson says Martin County has received a growing number of calls from residents wanting their homes to be inspected for conditions where mosquitos might breed.

This time last year, the county completed about 60 inspections. This year, nearly 120 residents have requested inspections.

“That’s probably an indication of the knowledge of our citizens and the concern they have over Zika,” Donaldson said.

Donaldson expects concerns to rise over the summer months, when mosquitos are more prevalent.

For now, mosquito control is doing daily inspections in areas known to produce mosquitos.

They’ve also treated the area around the home where the infected person lives to keep the virus from spreading.

Rio resident Gary Hendry says his alert has been high for mosquitos since Dengue Fever and Chickingunya were reported in Rio.

“With the dengue fever years ago and now the Zika, yea, certainly a concern,” Hendry said.

He’s added protection around his property.

“We’ve got a mosquito zapper up there… There’s the mosquito magnet,” Hendry described

Donaldson says the county is not changing the way they monitor mosquitos for now, but if any more cases of Zika are reported, he says he will likely increase staffing to accommodate more inspections.