Discovery of mosquito linked to Zika Virus no cause for concern

by Noah Mcgee July 23, 2017, 0:25
Discovery of mosquito linked to Zika Virus no cause for concern

While Fresno doesn't now have any of the diseases that Aedes aegypticarries around with it - Zika, dengue, yellow fever, chikunguya - all it takes is one infected visitor for the disease to establish itself in the local mosquito population.

Reared by machines, the male mosquitoes are infected with a bacteria that is harmless to humans, but creates non-hatching dead eggs when they mate with wild females.

Verily teamed up with Fresno County's Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD) and MosquitoMate, a mosquito reduction control company, to complete the project. The release, known as Debug Fresno, has taken place in Fresno. The release is an attempt to decrease the population of a certain mosquito species that have been in the central valley since 2013. The summer effort will be Verily's first field study that involves sterile mosquitoes in the U.S.

"It's a awful nuisance, a bad biting nuisance".

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The mosquito was located by officials in Dane County, marking the first time Aedes albopictus, also known as the Asian tiger mosquito, has been seen in the state. While these diseases are not a current threat to people in California, it is predicted that they will be in the future. Although active Zika virus transmission has been detected in some areas of the United States, most cases of Zika virus have been travel-associated.

There were no reported cases of Zika in the US this year that occurred "through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission" as of Wednesday, the CDC said.

Verily - formerly Google Life Sciences - began releasing bacteria-infected male mosquitoes in Fresno, California. Workers who are exposed on the job to mosquitoes or the blood or other body fluids of infected individuals may be at risk for occupationally acquired Zika virus infection.


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