Millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys

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Millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys

Heading south for some sun and sand? You may encounter something you weren’t expecting on your trip: genetically modified mosquitos. A plan to release over 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022 has been approved by federal and local authorities. The pilot project is a test to see if the genetically modified mosquitos can replace insecticides to control the Ades aegypti, a species of mosquito that carries deadly diseases like Zika and dengue. 

The decision has been met with skepticism from some health and safety experts. “With all the urgent crises facing our nation and the State of Florida… the administration used tax dollars and government resources for a Jurassic Park experiment,” Jaydee Hanson, policy director for the International Center for Technology Assessment and Center for Food Safety said.

Hiker survives being stranded for 14 days in forest

A man on a hike with his kids in Santa Fe National Forest rescued a hiker who had been missing for over two weeks. John Utsey told ABC News he was hiking with his kids when he heard a man screaming off the trail. “He was laying beside a creek. His legs didn’t—he couldn’t stand, he couldn’t move, he was delirious,” Utsey said. 

Utsey recorded the GPS coordinates of the man’s location and called 911 but rescuers could not locate him and called off the search 8 hours later. Determined to find him, Utsey put on his hiking boots and found the man again, this time leading rescue personnel to him. The hiker suffered chronic back problems and re-injured his back while hiking, causing him to be unable to stand or walk. During his ordeal he survived on filtered water and is now recovering in a hospital.

Hiker in California tests positive for plague

Just when you didn’t think 2020 could get any worse, a hiker in South Lake Tahoe has tested positive for plague, the first documented case in California since 2015. The person, described as “an avid walker,” may have been bitted by an infected flea while walking their dog along the Truckee River, Ed Dorado health officials said.

The disease has killed millions throughout history. In the 14th century, one-third of Europe’s population died from the human plague, also known as the “Black Death.” Today, about seven cases of plague are reported in the United States each year. The plague is now treated with antibiotics, but can be fatal without them.

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