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Skeeter hunters work to end nuisance

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June 24, 2004

Valdosta-- Public health experts are working with Valdosta State University to better understand which species of mosquitoes are a hazard to your health.

Public health officials from all over the state are taking part in a mosquito identification course at VSU. With over 40 species that target humans, officials are learning how to identify each species. By learning the differences, they will be able to tell which ones carry diseases such as West Nile or Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

"Each mosquito is different, each mosquito has different color patterns, scale patterns. They all look different,” said Medical Entomologist Bruce Harrison.

“A lot of what I have gotten out of the course has been that Dr. Harrison has little tips on things that are additional things to look for that help us sort out different species of mosquito,” said Associate Professor Dr. Mark Blackmore.

Rift Valley Fever is another mosquito-borne disease that is native to Africa. Nationally, health officials worry that the disease may make its way to the U.S. It can spread quickly and is more deadly than West Nile Virus.

posted at 5:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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