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Device at UF Could Help Stop the Spread of Zika

New Technology

Casey parker is an Entomology grad student at UF, and she's working on a new device with her professors that could potentially stop the spread of the Zika virus. She says, "The red and black which is contrasting colors is shown to be attractive to mosquitos. Mosquito comes in here. She flies and lands on the surface when she goes to lay her eggs. When she goes to do that, the pesticide on the surface comes in contact with her body. And when she flies away she will eventually die."

They came up with the design years ago, to kill mosquitos that carried two different types of diseases. But it just so happens, these same mosquitos are the ones believed to be spreading the Zika. Parker says, "This is the yellow fever mosquito. Scientific name is Aedes Aegypti. She's the primary vector of the Zika virus."

The college of public health at UF is also spending time and money researching this virus. Dr. "We continue to look at samples from Haiti, and we're trying to understand first of all how the virus is mutating in Haiti."

Dr. John Lednicky studies viruses at UF, and he was the first one at the college to identify the Zika virus in these samples from UF's lab in Haiti. "The focus of that laboratory was to do Malaria and Cholera work." Now that focus has shifted towards Zika, as well as the focus from the Entomology department.

Today, Parker and the researchers in that department are going to meet with Senator Rubio and Senator Nelson's teams, to see if they will approve and back the latest device that could help stop the spread of this virus.

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