HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Now that the warm weather is here, Harris County officials say the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitos have arrived.
Harris County is home to 56 different kinds of mosquitoes.
At a press conference, the Harris County Office of Emergency Management showed off new technology and traps they’re using. They’ve placed nearly 500 traps at 268 sites around the county.
The county is continuing to partner with Microsoft research, using high-tech traps that can determine with infrared technology, when a a Zika mosquito has been caught or a West Nile mosquito has been caught, based on the flap of its wing. These traps can also determine the precise time the mosquitoes have been captured in the traps.
There is also a new interactive Mobile Mosquito and Vector Control Unit, which will help inform the community about mosquito born illnesses, such as Zika and West Nile virus. Dr. Umair Shah with the Harris County Health Department says the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus bite during the day. The mosquitoes that carry West Nile are considered nighttime mosquitoes.
The Health Department’s campaign this year is called, “Prevent the Bite, Day and Night.” Officials say the public must do its part to prevent the spread of these diseases by removing standing water on their property – typically, in planters, toys, pales and tires. They are urging people to help ward off mosquitoes by wearing mosquito repellant.
Experts stress that if someone has flu-like symptoms, and has been bitten by a mosquito, to go to his/her doctor and get tested for these mosquito-borne viruses.