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How the Python's Voracious Appetite Could Spread Everglades Virus

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A mosquito

The Everglades' python problem is not news to most Southwest Floridians, but what may be is the effects the overabundance of the invasive species may soon have on humans well outside of the Everglades.

Pythons have decimated the Everglades fauna to the point where mosquitoes are only getting blood from rats, and that’s spreading a unique disease that could soon become a problem for people.

Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena of University of Florida's Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about pythons’ contribution to spreading the Everglades virus.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.