Preparations for mosquito season underway

Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 18:34:31-04

The Bell County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is looking for volunteers to help them during the 2017 mosquito season.

The MRC is training volunteers in mosquito surveillance, the placement of mosquito traps and collecting live specimens.

Michael McQuiston is a volunteer for the Bell County Medical Reserve Corps.

"I was on the first mosquito strike team that we did as an MRC unit," McQuinston said.

For the second year in a row, they are training volunteers like McQuinston how to use these mosquito traps and the GPSing of the mosquitoes.

"We capture them alive, we send them down to the lab where they are identified and and speciated so it tells us what type of mosquitoes are in a certain area; whether they're going to carry West Nile or if they could carry other viruses like Zika," Gene Mikeska, Director of the Bell County Medical Reserve Corps, said.

The group will start setting traps next month. Mikeska said they will set them on Sunday and collect the Monday morning.

"[Last year] I was pretty surprised at how many mosquitoes we were finding in places that had no standing water at all," McQuinston said.

The Bell County Medical Reserve Corps is a group that provides help in the event of a natural disaster or any outbreak. 

"We're training our volunteers to be able to respond to any emerging public health issue for Bell and Milam county." Mikeska said. "For us, thinking outside the box for how we can meet the needs of the community and train people who are willing to do so to manage that is one of the things we we've done."

There are currently 31 volunteers but they are looking to have up to 900. They train individuals for one hour each month.

To find out how you can sign up to volunteer, click here or call Gene at Mikeska at 254-773-4457.

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