Stopping Zika at Its Source
Jennifer Horney, an associate professor in the School of Public Health, and Daniel Goldberg, who holds assistant professorships in the colleges of geosciences and engineering, created a mobile app to fight the Zika virus at its source: standing water.
The Aedes mosquito, which transmits the Zika virus, can breed in containers of standing water as small as a bottle cap, and its eggs can survive for months without water. Still, the egg and larval stage is the best time to control the insect because the adult mosquito is more resistant to traditional pesticides.
“With our new app called TAMU Zika, citizens can take surveys to note the prevalence and locations of potential mosquito breeding grounds in their communities,” Horney said. “This data is then mapped online, and health departments can use that information to prioritize areas for mosquito control measures.”
Users of the app can record the number of different types of containers—old tires, buckets, bird baths, clogged gutters—that could harbor Zika-carrying mosquito eggs, along with the address of the property. The app then automatically adds the location to a website for local health officials to review.
The app is available for download on iOS and Android devices.