Sarasota County gives update on Malaria fight

WWSB ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Jun. 29, 2023 at 4:43 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Sarasota County Mosquito Management continues to urge the public to take the current Malaria spread seriously, but also gave a positive update on the effectiveness of their spraying missions.

“It’s benefitting over time. We’re noticing a reduction of Anopheles populations specifically in that wood lot where we have had positive pools in the past,” says Wade Brennan, manager of Sarasota County Mosquito Management.

Brennan says while things could be heading in the right direction, he acknowledges there is still a lot that needs to be done.

“It’s just so important and we need everyone to take it serious. Wear those repellants, wear those long sleeves. I know it’s hot, but it’s just so important. If we can get all those efforts along with our efforts, we can really knock this out and take care of this situation so it doesn’t persist,” says Brennan.

A local nonprofit organization knows all about taking some of these precautions.

Agape Flights in Venice makes weekly trips to countries where the risk of getting Malaria is much higher than in the United States.

Director of Flight Operations at Agape Flights, Greg Haman discussed some of the environments he has stayed in while spending time in less-developed countries.

“I’ve stayed in places that have required bug netting in the past when there wasn’t any air conditioning. Obviously with that, you are sleeping under a mosquito net to try to keep the mosquitos off while you sleep and you are using bug spray and pretty much whatever you can to keep the mosquitos off,” says Haman.

Haman said one of his pilots got Malaria while on a missions trip.

“He said it had him down and out for a couple of weeks, and even after you recover from it you’re still weak,” says Haman.

Click here for more information on aerial spraying schedules and tips on how to best protect yourself and others.