HCHD Director discusses mosquitoes

Rick Davis, Director of the Holmes County Health Department

Rick Davis, Director of the Holmes County Health Department, was present at this week’s Kiwanis Club of Bonifay to discuss mosquito facts and the role the health department plays in “minimizing the number of human illnesses and deaths due to mosquito-borne illnesses.”

Cecilia Spears
Published: Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at 04:49 PM.

BONIFAY — Visiting this week’s meeting of the Bonifay Kiwanis Club was Director of the Holmes County Health Department Rick Davis to speak with members about mosquitoes, mosquito-borne illnesses and the role that the Holmes County Health Department plays in education.

“As you all know, Florida has a climate that is conducive to mosquitoes,” said Davis. “They thrive in the warm, moist climate. There are more than 3,000 different species of mosquito and can be found almost any where in the world, including as far as Antarctica.”

Davis said that a little known fact is that only female mosquitoes bite and they do not need blood to survive.

“Mosquitoes actually eat mostly nectar,” he said. “Females are the only ones that bite and draw blood. For some strange reason they need the blood in order to reproduce.”

Another little known fact, said Davis, is that they prefer the blood of birds and smaller animals to human.

“We have flocks of chicken that we draw blood from to find out what’s going around in this area,” he said. “Last year the state of Florida only had one case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, it just so happened to be in Holmes County.”

He explained that the EEE virus was a rare virus to contract because it would have to be transmitted directly from horse or exotic bird to human and not from human to human.

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