Via NPR's Shots blog: Mosquito Hunters Set Traps Across Houston, Search for Signs of Zika. Excerpt:
Mosquito control is serious business in Harris County, Texas.
The county, which includes Houston, stretches across 1,777 square miles and is the third most populous county in the U.S. The area's warm, muggy climate and snaking system of bayous provide an ideal habitat for mosquitoes — and the diseases they carry.
The county began battling mosquitoes in earnest in 1965, after an outbreak of St. Louis encephalitis. Hundreds of people contracted the virus and 32 died.
These days, mosquito control efforts include chemical spraying on foot, by truck and occasionally from airplanes. But spraying happens strategically, after careful research reveals the geographic distribution of infected mosquitoes and sometimes birds, which can carry West Nile.
To that end, the county employs 50 scientists and technicians year-round. In the summer, the county hires two dozen more workers. They set traps, sort mosquitoes by species and conduct lab tests for five viruses: St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile, dengue and chikungunya. This year they've added Zika.