RAMP testing quickly determines if a mosquito has West Nile virus

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ABERDEEN, S.D. (KSFY) - Getting a positive test sample of the West Nile virus is one way to begin stopping it from spreading.

"The process that's used by the Aberdeen Mosquito Control is that we have traps set throughout our community at different places. Those traps are collected daily," said Mark Hoven, the Aberdeen Parks Superintendent.

After trapping the mosquitos, they are brought in for testing through a system called rapid analyte measurement platform, or "RAMP."

"We identify the mosquitoes as either Culex mosquitoes or we identify them as other, which would be our Vexen mosquitoes normally," said Hoven.

The Culex mosquitoes are the ones capable of carrying the virus.

"Those mosquitoes are then placed into that ramp, and that ramp will tell us if there's an active virus or not," Hoven said.

Getting results as quickly as possible is one of the main reasons Aberdeen has implemented this testing.

"The turnover time from the ramp finishing through the drying process, to actually being able to test is 90 minutes," said Daniel Sharp, a Mosquito Control Center Employee.

If a test comes back positive, the city then takes the next step.

"We set up a specialty spray if a city wide spray is not feasible weather condition wise," said Sharp.

The ultimate goal is to control the west nile virus by detecting it as quickly as possible.