Fort Collins CDC site ‘ground zero’ for Zika virus research

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- There have been no confirmed cases of Zika virus in Colorado, but that does not mean the disease isn’t in the state.

At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory in Fort Collins, near Colorado State University, researchers are busy studying the virus, which has spread to more than 20 states and dozens of countries around the world.

“This is ground zero for CDC Zika virus research,” said Anne Powers, a senior CDC official in Fort Collins.

Cameras were invited for a tour of the facility by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet.

“There is no politics here,” Gardner said.

“This is a great example of why we need functioning agencies,” Bennet added.

According to officials, more than 80 employees are working full time on studying the habits of the mosquito to determine what has prompted this global outbreak.

“We are very concerned, this is a pattern we have never seen before,” Powers said.

Powers reiterated that Colorado is unlikely to see the mosquito that carries the Zika virus as it thrives in tropical climates and doesn't survive in more arid climates like Colorado.

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