Genetically modified mosquitos released in Florida to fight disease

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FILE – In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Sometime next year, genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys in an effort to combat persistent insect-borne diseases such as Dengue fever and the Zika virus. The plan approved Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020, by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District calls for a pilot project in 2021 involving the striped-legged Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is not native to Florida. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

MIAMI (AP) — Genetically modified mosquitoes are being released in the Florida Keys in an effort to combat persistent insect-borne diseases such as Dengue fever and the Zika virus.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and the Oxitec biotechnology company announced Thursday that release boxes, non-release boxes and netted quality control boxes are being placed this week in six locations.

Starting early next month, less than 12,000 mosquitoes are expected to emerge each week for approximately 12 weeks.

Keys officials approved the pilot project last year involving the striped-legged Aedes aegypti mosquito, which isn’t native to Florida.

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