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"Mosquito Patrol" tracking Zika carriers

TAMUSA students check mosquito trap in King William.

SAN ANTONIO - Researchers at Texas A&M San Antonio, led by Dr. Megan Wise de Valdez, are tracking mosquitoes than can transmit Zika virus right here in San Antonio throughout the summer.

This is a story we first told you back in April. Then, the research team needed volunteers to allow special traps to be put at homes all over town. After our story aired over 400 people signed up. They only needed 120.

The traps were placed around the beginning of June as the research team made up of 10 students check each trap. Their shirts say "Mosquito Patrol" on the back.

They're looking for the species known as the Aedes Agypti.

Today, the researchers Estefany Moya, Ariana Alvarez and Jonathan Hernandez are checking a trap behind a home in King William. This home has been in Anne Toxey's family since 1950. She and her husband Patrick McMillan have lived here for 10 years. There's no shortage of mosquitos in King William.

"Worse than other places. We're right by the river and it's a low area and its shady mosquitoes seem to like that," Toxey says. Offering their property to science was a no brainer, "We want as much studying done as possible, so we volunteered our house!"

The goal is to find out what areas around town the Aedes Agypti thrive most. All areas around San Antonio are represented.

In case there's a Zika outbreak, mosquito abatement can take better aim. Something this group of grads and undergrads is excited to be a part of.

"Just to help out. Just knowing were doing something that can help our community," Alvarez says.

They'll be doing this through summer, constantly giving updates to the public health department. Even if you aren't part of the study, you can help with abatement by dumping out standing water, like in birdbaths, once a week.

Click here to see our story previewing this study from April.

By Andrew Lofholm

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