Mosquitoes targeted in anti-Zika effort
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