Going the Distance
When West Nile virus surged across the United States between 2001 and 2004, infected migratory birds were blamed for the disease’s rapid expansion. Now Johns Hopkins researchers say mosquitoes themselves, which transmit the virus to animals they bite, cover enough ground to carry the virus cross-country. Analyzing DNA from Culex tarsalis mosquitoes from 20 locations in the West, the researchers found that the insects, known to travel up to 2.5 miles per day, interbreed throughout much of the West, mingling more than researchers expected.
Learn more about the culex tarsalis mosquito at the Encyclopedia of Life.