Health officials are asking for public's help preventing Zika in Charlotte

With summer right around the corner, mosquitoes are already becoming a pesky problem.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With summer right around the corner mosquitos are already becoming a pesky problem. 

Mecklenburg County health officials are doing what they can to keep the Zika virus out of the Carolinas. 

They're teaming up with UNC Charlotte researcher Ari Whiteman for the "Urban Mosquito Project."

Whiteman says studying different hotspots could prevent a Zika outbreak here in the Carolinas. 

"Nobody has been bitten by a mosquito in Charlotte that had Zika," Whiteman said.

However, almost 160 people in North and South Carolina have been bitten by an affected mosquito out-of-state, bringing the Zika Virus back home.

The "Urban Mosquito Project" compares at least 20 variables including: Weather patterns, distance to green space, even certain socioeconomic factors. It's all in an effort to keep you safe, especially North Carolina's youngest. 

The virus can cause Microcephaly, causing devastating effects on a baby.  

"Obviously results in neurological problems, and in some cases premature death of the baby," says Mecklenburg County Medical Director, Dr. Stephen Keener.

Whiteman and his team will be placing 90-100 traps around Charlotte and they need your help. They're looking for volunteers to help place the traps and check them throughout the summer. Ultimately, the end goal is prevention!

Whiteman says if they can determine the hotspots they'll then be able to spray those areas and educate people who live there.

If you would like to volunteer, you can sign up here: http://www.urbanmosquitoproject.org/
 

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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