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A virus’ host has the medical community buzzing

Although small, this insect can be a big carrier of disease and infection


​It weighs just 2.5 milligrams and travels about one mile per hour, but this little critter continues to cause mayhem — most recently with its impact on unborn children.

“A mosquito is an ideal environment for viruses,” said UCHealth’s Dr. David Beckham, an associate professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

There are about 2,700 species of mosquitoes — 176 in the United States — each having a unique biology that affects their potential for catching, carrying and transmitting infections.
 
“Mosquitoes develop the infection in their gut, and it gets into their salivary glands, where they can carry it for a good period of time,” Beckham said.