Study: Low Chance of Zika in Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Trying to swat mosquitoes can put a damper on your holiday cook-out. Thankfully, according to recent research, the chances of the biting pests making you sick with the Zika Virus are low in Missouri.

Dr. David Claborn, a professor of Public Health at Missouri State University, heads up the research team. 

"All we're doing is trying to find out what mosquitos are here...and which ones could possibly transmit disease," said Dr. Claborn. 

It started back in the summer of 2016 as part of a contract from the Missouri Department of Public Health. The team has been traveling across Southern parts of the state collecting mosquitoes. 

"A little while back the Centers for Disease Control made an estimate that Missouri included the range of a very important mosquito..yellow fever mosquito. The reason it was important is that that mosquito can transmit Zika Virus and some other diseases like Dangue and Yellow Fever," Dr. Claborn said, "Over the last two years we've caught and identified about 35-thousand mosquitos." 

He says they've trapped quite a few of the little pests.

"One of the things that we do, is we collect larvae particularly from artificial containers like tires and old wrecked cars. So we spend a lot of time in wrecking yard," said Dr. Claborn. 

But according to the research conducted by the team, Missourians need not be concerned about contracting Yellow Fever..better known as the Zika Virus. 

 "To date, we have not found the Yellow Fever Mosquito inside of Missouri. However, we've found about 31 different species," Dr. Claborn said, "These will be entered into basically a museum somewhere, where these will be vouchered and kept for people to check what we've done through the years." 

The results of the research will be shared with the Centers for Disease Control. They plan to wrap up their research this September.

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