20 million mosquitoes to hit Fresno; that's a good thing, really

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Pervasive in Fresno County, they can transmit diseases like Zika, dengue, and chikungunya.

Verily plans to release about 1 million mosquitoes a week over a 20-week period in two 300-acre neighborhoods in the Fresno area - the largest US release to date of mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria.

The invasive mosquito species first surfaced in Fresno in 2013, but no cases of the diseases mentioned have yet been reported.

Here's what Verily is planning to do - Verily's male mosquitos that are infected with the Wolbachia bacteria (that is harmless to humans) will infect female mosquitos and make their eggs incapable of producing offspring.

After becoming a standalone Alphabet division in 2015, Verily has grown rapidly, taking on numerous health technology projects, partnering with the drug industry and raising significant funds including US$800mil (RM3.43bil) from Singapore investment firm Temasek Holdings Ltd.

An automated mosquito mass rearing process has been developed at Verily. They're infected with a naturally occurring bacteria called Wolbachia.

To tackle the issue, Verily will release at least one million sterile male mosquitos each week in Fresno.

Now, male mosquitoes can't bite. On July 14, in collaboration with MosquitoMate and Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, the Debug Project's first field study in the United States, Debug Fresno, began its release of mosquitoes in Fresno County. The study would be conducted by Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, MosquitoMate, and Verily, and this video is meant to inform residents of the possible activities of this study.

Verily Life Sciences is set to release 20 million modified mosquitos in Fresno, California throughout the summer.

Those in the Fancher Creek neighborhood may notice a Verily van releasing healthy swarms of the little bugs throughout its streets starting today.

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