WASHINGTON TIMES — Factories are churning out bug spray around the clock as fears of the mosquito-borne Zika virus take hold. Demand has tripled in Brazil, where the virus is already entrenched, and has doubled in the U.S., even though no mosquito-transmitted cases have been recorded in the country.
The mere anticipation of a Zika epidemic has sparked a boom in the bug-repellent industry.
Mosquito Joe franchises report an increase in business of 50 percent.
“Clearly, part of it is Zika,” said company CEO Kevin Wilson.
Health officials say the mysterious virus is causing births of babies with abnormally small heads, a condition known as microcephaly, in Brazil and other Latin American countries. It also has been tied to a series of birth defects, a syndrome that can lead to paralysis, and a Puerto Rican man’s death from the severe loss of blood platelets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded 426 travel-related Zika cases in U.S. states and the District of Columbia, including a handful through sexual transmission.
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