The Olympics were overshadowed by the zika virus. Some Olympic athletes decided not to go. Others creative ways of mosquito pest control were used to put all athletes at ease. What about in Springfield, Missouri? There was a report of a man who had the virus. Teams have been forming ever since to look for early signs of the virus in the state.
David Claborn, associate professor at Missouri State University, said that the beginning of July, his team has trapped over 10,000 mosquitoes in an effort to find any evidence that the insects are carrying the Zika virus into Missouri. The primary carrier of the zika virus is the yellow fever mosquito, which has existed in Missouri in the past.
No evidence of the Zika virus is a good sign, yet the research will continue. Missouri State University’s approach to mosquito pest control is early detection signs.
Yellow fever mosquitoes are found mostly in southern states, less common inland, reported The Springfield News-Leader. The Asian tiger mosquito can also carry the Zika virus is found abundantly in Missouri.
Claborn said that none of the thousands of Asian tiger mosquitoes caught in the Missouri traps were infected with Zika.
Springfield Missouri – Mosquito Pest Control – How Mosquitoes are Caught
Claborn’s staff uses special mosquito pest control technique, using traps baited with dry ice to attract the mosquitoes. Claborn says that because mosquitos are attracted to our the carbon dioxide in our breath. By using the dry ice with a fan, the mosquitos get trapped, collected, frozen, killed, and then put under the miscroscope to sort by species and sex. The team is looking for the females that are the primary carriers that bite.
By logging the GPS coordinates of every trapping, the collected data can be shared with the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services, which also provides the information to the Centers for Disease Control.
“The state wants to know what’s here and have a plan for how to deal with it if Zika does reach Missouri,” Claborn said. “I think it’s wise for our state health department to get ahead of this before it happens.”