NASA scientists have created a map showing the U.S. locations with the highest potential for the spread of the Zika virus. This information will be used to better target future search - and destroy missions for the female Aedes aegypti—the mosquito responsible for the spread of the virus.
Researchers focused on 50 cities within or near the current Aedes aegypti population, applying factors such as temperature, rainfall amounts, poverty levels and whether people in those cities have traveled to Zika-affected areas. They then took things a step further and analyzed the chance of the mosquito surviving in those locations during each month of the year. In the wintertime, colder temperatures and a lack of moisture lessen the likelihood of mosquito eggs hatching.