Outside a far north Fort Worth station, Hunter Taylor is on the hunt for mosquitoes.
Inside a mosquito trap that he set out the night before, Taylor is looking for female Culex mosquitoes that can transmit the West Nile virus to humans. One type of mosquito, known as Culex quinquefasciatus, is also commonly known as the “southern house mosquito.”
Taylor, 24, is one of five University of North Texas Health Science Center graduate students that are helping collect samples across Fort Worth that serve as an early warning system for the West Nile virus.
It’s part of network that’s been set up across Tarrant County in case West Nile starts multiplying like it did two years ago when North Texas suddenly found itself in the midst of an epidemic.