Expecting moms hope Hermine's rain doesn't bring more Zika

Expecting mothers battle Zika threat

Tampa, FL -- Aside from flooding, the big concern now that Hermine has pulled away, is all that standing water left behind. It's a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and potentially, the Zika Virus.

That’s a concern for expecting moms like Jen Wiggs, who – on this Labor Day – is about a month away from going into labor.

“It's always nice to meet another, fellow expecting mom,” said Wiggs. “Mosquitoes are always a threat in Florida so you just have to protect yourself the best that you can.”

So, talk about timing.

In Tampa’s Gaslight Park, there was a rally Monday to improve birth and maternity. Table after table of products and valuable advice for curious moms-to-be. 

Hurricane Hermine dumped a ton of rain on the Bay Area. And with it, there are growing concerns about a potential explosion in the mosquito population because of standing water. 

“And especially first time around. I mean, there's so much to know. So much information that you need to take in,” said Rachel Olliff, attending the rally.

Jenn Stone, operating a booth at the rally, offers expecting moms natural alternatives to mosquito repellants which often contain the chemical compound DEET.

She hears all kinds of questions from pregnant clients, “Asking like what's the most effective. Like essential oils are really good for deterring the bugs. It doesn't prevent them from biting you, but it keeps them from landing on you in the first place,” said Stone.

DEET is considered highly effective, but some moms say they’ve heard negative reports. 

Evidence -- although there's still not much of it out there -- suggests DEET is safe, but it’s advised not to over-apply it.

“I don't like getting bitten, regardless of whether I'm pregnant or not,” said Wiggs, “So I just try to use precaution.”

Mosquito Control officials say they have a small window of opportunity. Hermine’s winds and heavy rain may have knocked out part of the mosquito population. So, they’re asking everyone to get rid of standing water around their property to avoid a mosquito population boom.

The pests require just a teaspoon of water to breed.

To learn more about chemical mosquito repellants compared to all-natural alternatives, CLICK HERE.


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