Researchers at USM search for Zika-carrying mosquitoes

Researchers at USM search for Zika-carrying mosquitoes

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - For the last few months, Professor Donald Yee and his team of researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi have been hard at work searching for a specific type of mosquito.

The species of mosquito is called Aedes Aegypti.

"This is the type of mosquito that's been implicated in spreading Zika throughout portions of South America and the Caribbean," Yee said.

He said this type of mosquito has not been in Mississippi for at least 20 years.

We've surveyed all 82 counties in the state. We've done this four times throughout the summer and we have yet to find any Aedis Aegypti mosquitoes, Yee said. 

Yee said while it is good news, Mississippi is not in the clear.

"There are other mosquitoes that could potentially carry it," Yee added.

This why officials across the state are being proactive. Many counties spray chemicals to get rid of the little critters.

Yee said there are ways of protecting yourself from being bitten. He said wear repellents, long-sleeved clothing and remove standing water.