Zika Virus Identified in Asian Tiger Mosquitoes in Brazil

21 April, 2017, 03:18 | Author: Alejandro Stokes
  • Another Type of Mosquito May Carry Zika

"The role of this mosquito in Zika virus transmission needs to be assessed".

Zika is mainly transmitted via the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes but also can be transmitted sexually.

However, Smartt's team didn't uncover traces of the live Zika virus, which translates into two possible scenarios: either the females that laid the eggs were not actually infected, or the live virus strain couldn't be transferred from parent to eggs (known as vertical transmission).

Since researchers and the media started seriously chronicling the Zika virus in the U.S.in 2015, Aedes agypti mosquitoes have received a lot of attention. Primarily carried by the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti, RNA fragments of Zika have been found in Asian tiger mosquitoes during their genetic testing, researchers report.

"Because these mosquitoes feed on animals as well as people, they are less likely to spread viruses like Zika, dengue, chikungunya and other viruses", the agency says.

While the superintendent of Bay District Schools said they're working on educating children about the virus, researchers at Florida State Panama City said they're working on finding a drug to prevent it.

"We've always thought that was a possibility", said Tim O'Connor, spokesman for the state Department of Health's Palm Beach County unit. The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Scott hosted a roundtable discussion in Miami on March 27 with community leaders before the rainy season, when the mosquito population is at its highest in Florida. After spreading quickly in Latin America and the Caribbean, Zika arrived in Florida a year ago. The single case was reported in St. Thomas, bringing the island's total confirmed cases to 681. That includes 185 locally transmitted mosquito-borne cases in Florida, plus 38 cases in Florida believed to be the result of sexual transmission. But it says 3,461 pregnant women in USA territories have shown evidence of contracting Zika.

"I think there'll be an uptick", Bush said. There is no vaccine for Zika, leaving public health officials to urge Floridians to use mosquito spray, wear long clothes and remove standing water from outdoor containers.



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