News From Harlingen, Texas

College Students from Both Sides of the Border Participating In Mosquito Research Efforts in Harlingen

Harlingen, Texas–Many of us probably don’t think about Mosquitoes unless they’re bothering us.  Lucky for us, mosquitoes are a topic that is never far from the minds of the Harlingen Health Department Staff.  Some mosquitoes carry diseases that have proven deadly in many parts of the world including here in the Rio Grande Valley and in neighboring cities across the border.


That’s why the Harlingen Health Department is conducting research along with Entomology students from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and students from the Instituto Politecnico Nacional Centro de Biotecnologia Genomica from Reynosa.


This is part of the Health Department’s binational work thanks to two grants it received. The research includes setting up BioCare Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGO traps) which were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce populations of Aedes Agaegypti by 80%.  CDC studies show it is effective for the mosquitoes that transmit Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Yellow Fever.


Harlingen Health Director Josh Ramirez says the overall goal is to create a stronger surveillance program that will prevent outbreaks, thus making the City and the area healthier. “This will definitely help the City because if any of these disease carrying mosquitoes are here, we’ll detect them faster and we will be able to control the situation that could affect both sides of the border.”


Ramirez says, by participating in the research the students are getting a hands-on lesson about the mosquito cycle and how to control them, and he says it also serves as training for the City’s Health Department Staff.  The grant funding runs through 2020.


The traps are black buckets so if you see them in your neighborhood please leave them alone.  They’re working hard to keep us safe and healthy.



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