Associate professor of public health
“What we wanted to know from this research is what mosquitoes are here and in what numbers they occur, because some of them can serve as transmitters of the virus.” — Dr. David Claborn
This summer and fall, Claborn and a team of researchers traveled across the southern part of Missouri to trap mosquitoes. They studied them to see if any were Aedes aegypti (also known as the yellow fever mosquito), which is the primary “vector,” or transmitter, of the Zika virus.
Missourians need not worry for now, Claborn said, since the probability of contracting Zika from mosquitoes in this state was low.
The team completed their fifth and final Missouri River route for 2016 on Sept. 22.
“We’ve trapped about 15,000 mosquitoes overall and have not found any specimens of the primary vector,” said Claborn. “This does not mean it does not occur in Missouri; however, if it does occur, the population is not large or easy to detect.”
The information resulting from this research project is passed on to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services who, in turn, shares it with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.