Pennsylvania

New Jersey County Battles Mosquitoes With Thousands of Zika-Fighting Fish

More than 10,000 fish are set to be released into New Jersey retention basins this week as a way to combat disease carrying mosquitoes. 

The Mosquito fish -- the first of which were released Tuesday -- are natural predators to mosquito larvae and Gloucester County plans to use them to reduce the Zika-carrying mosquito population throughout the area by releasing them into stagnant bodies of water. The Gambusia fish loves to feed on the larvae.

"They're very veracious in terms of eating and breeding," said Wayne Wurtz with Gloucester County Mosquito Control.

The fish are also more environmentally-friendly than chemical options, said officials.

"It's a very clean way to control the mosquito population," said freeholder Heather Simmons.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been tracking Zika-carrying mosquitoes since the threat first arose. The Center's monitoring system show the mosquito is present in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware region.

However, officials report that these mosquitoes will not necessarily cause disease and that they would have to bite someone who already contacted Zika before spreading it to others.

So far, the CDC is reporting 472 cases of Zika in the United States, however every case can be traced back to travel, which officials report is the biggest threat in contracting the virus. 

More information on the Zika virus can be found on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website.

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