Every summer, vector control teams throughout the country work to minimize the mosquito population in their areas.
Every summer, vector control teams throughout the country work to minimize the mosquito population in their areas. After all, mosquitoes aren't just the uninvited guests at your backyard barbecue that leave you with itchy, red bumps; they can spread diseases including Zika, West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya.
So, what happens when those control methods become less effective? That's a question the state of Texas is facing now.
"Recent threats to public health from mosquito-borne viruses, particularly Zika virus, have brought to light the critical importance of knowing where potential vector mosquito populations occur and understanding how to effectively control them," said Steve Presley, director of The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH) at Texas Tech University, chair of the Department of Environmental Toxicology, a professor of disease ecology and director of the Biological Threat Research Laboratory.
While West Nile virus transmission is attributable to other kinds of mosquitoes, two specific species, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti), are responsible for transmission of Zika, chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever viruses. Since 2016, TIEHH researchers collaborating with entomologists from various jurisdictions and funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services have worked to determine where these two species are and how well methods to control them are working.
Continue reading at Texas Tech University.
Image via Texas Tech University.