Mos­qui­toes tar­geted in anti-Zika ef­fort

The Buffalo News - - NATIONAL NEWS -

HOUS­TON – With 4.5 mil­lion peo­ple in a hot, muggy me­trop­o­lis built atop a bayou, the United States’ fourth-largest city, Hous­ton, is a per­fect tar­get for the mosquito-borne Zika virus. But it may be bet­ter pre­pared than any other ur­ban cen­ter to stop an out­break.

The city last year in­creased its mosquito-con­trol bud­get by 33 per­cent.

Of­fi­cials are test­ing new high-tech traps and have plans to re­lease ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied mos­qui­toes that pro­duce short-lived off­spring, re­duc­ing the pop­u­la­tion.

Should the virus start spread­ing here, of­fi­cials are pre­pared to fol­low Mi­ami’s ex­am­ple by be­gin­ning aerial spray­ing and house-to-house in­spec­tions to clear stand­ing wa­ter where mos­qui­toes breed.

“We’re much bet­ter pre­pared this year than we were last year,” said Mustapha Deb­boun, mosquito-con­trol di­rec­tor of Har­ris County, which in­cludes Hous­ton.

– New York Times

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