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Lt. Thomas McGlynn works to protect sailors from deadly diseases at NAS Jax

Navy Lt. Thomas McGlynn researches insects in the Navy Entomology Center of Excellence to keep sailors around the world safe.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — They are more than just irritating, mosquitos are the most deadly animal in the world and account for nearly 1 million deaths every year.

The United States has troops deployed all over the world, some even in tropical climates with mosquitos carrying deadly diseases. But a team at NAS JAX is on the front line of keeping our military safe.

The Navy Entomology Center of Excellence is effectively the military's home for fighting mosquitos.

"These are all of our training materials," said Lieutenant Thomas McGlynn, "inside we have slides with mosquito larva in here so we can train other entomologists, we train preventative medicine technicians in entomology."

Lt. McGlynn acts as the tour guide for First Coast News on all things "bugs" in this facility. The NECE insect collection of everything that creeps, crawls and flies is world renowned. 

"We have a research and development lab which we just stood up and is state of the art and there we do molecular research and we're looking at insecticide resistance across the globe," said McGlynn.

This research helps sailors stay safe, but is also ensures that medical teams on ships have the latest technology to fight diseases that are spread by insects.

"We have a testing and evaluation where we're taking new insecticides, new products and testing the ways to deliver insecticides and pesticides aboard ships," said McGlynn.

To do that research, McGlynn and other Navy scientists not only study insects like mosquitos, they actually expose themselves to the colonies of mosquitos that they keep in this facility to test and advance their research.

"Right now we're doing experiments and a test on how well the new Army uniforms handle our insecticide treatment," said McGlynn, who added that he wanted to be an entomologist since he was a kid... and now gets to be surrounded by thousands of bugs.

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