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Collier unveils new Zika testing equipment

Posted at 10:31 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 22:32:23-04

NAPLES, Fla.- The Collier County Mosquito Control District is going on the offensive against the Zika virus.

The agency unveiled $70,000 worth of mosquito testing equipment this week designed to pinpoint mosquitoes carrying the virus, which can cause birth defects.

"That's one of the big advantages to having the equipment here, is things don't have to be sent off anymore to be tested," said entomologist Dr. Mark Clifton.

Previously the equipment could only identify the species of mosquito that could carry Zika, known as Aedes Aegypti.

"We'll also be testing the mosquitoes in the areas where we have a confirmed case, and or a suspected case," said Collier's Mosquito Control District Director Patrick Linn.

To do that, traps with bait will be set out.  Once collections are taken back to the lab, they can be processed 96 at a time with the new equipment.

But Linn says old fashion common sense will go further than modern technology every will in the fight against Zika.

"By eliminating containers that may be holding standing water, even something as small as a bottle cap can hold a whole mess of these eggs."

Some of those containers may not be as obvious, bromeliads and other flowers around your home may collect water, providing a breeding ground for mosquitoes.