By Gage Simpson, Owner of New Frontier News

Friday, February 9, 2018

(NEW FRONTIER NEWS) – Researchers plan to release thousands of bacteria infected mosquitos into South Miami in an effort to combat Zika Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

Researchers from Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate and the University of Kentucky plan to release non-biting male mosquitos infected with Wolbachia, a disease that is harmless to humans but causes female mosquitos to be sterile, into a suburb of Miami hardest hit by Zika.

A statement on the Miami-Dade County website, the program will designate a one-half-square-mile treatment area and a similarly-sized control area within the City of South Miami.

MosquitoMate has completed successful trials in Kentucky, California, and New York. Their trials in these states show significant population decline of female Aedes aegypti mosquito populations.

South Miami was chosen as the testing ground on request from Mayor Philip Stoddard. Stoddard, a zoology professor at Florida International University, volunteered his city in hopes of keeping the city’s outdoor cafés from becoming hotspots for mosquito-borne outbreaks.

“All those diseases are still a concern. They’re still in the Caribbean and could move to the mainland to cause problems,” Stoddard said.

A similar study in Florida occurred in Key West. The results from this study are still waiting to be finalized and published.