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Scientists search for Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Vt. - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Scientists search for Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Vt.

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

It was late summer when state officials set out with two new types of mosquito traps on the hunt for the Aedes albopictus mosquito.

Reporter Bridget Barry Caswell: Did you find anything?

Vt. State Entomologist Alan Graham: We did not find anything at all.

The Aedes albopictus is the type of mosquito the Centers for Disease Control says may show up in the southern part of Vermont, one of the two types known to spread the Zika virus.

Federal money was not available until August, and that's when state entomologist Alan Graham says Vermont set up two traps in Brattleboro.

"If we look we may possibly find it, but it's doubtful it would overwinter. The best way that this species moves around is in the used tire trade," Graham said.

And since it has been found in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Graham says the mosquito could come into Vermont in storage containers. The state will continue its surveillance next summer.

"Next year, we intend to use little black cups like this. These are designed to have water in here. A piece of filter paper for the mosquitoes to lay eggs on. This is considered to be one of the best surveillance tools for looking for Aedes albopictus and also, its tropical relative, Aedes aegypti," Graham said.

As for Vermonters with Zika, less than a dozen cases have been confirmed this year.

"Right now, we have 10 cases of Zika virus in Vermont residents and all of those cases traveled overseas. So no one was infected while they were here in the United States," Vt. State Epidemiologist Bradley Tompkins said.

Tompkins says the state isn't surprised at that number given the fact that Vermonters like to travel to warmer climates during the winter. He says they expect the caseload will grow next year, but to date, no serious cases of illness have been recorded in the Green Mountain State.

So far, the Miami-Dade area of Florida is the only region within the U.S. with mosquito-borne spread of the virus.

Click here for more information on Zika.

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