Mosquito Power: Don’t Test It

Travellers, particularly pregnant women, heading to Zika-prone areas need to stay alert. We’ll help you with that as warmer, wetter weather approaches and mosquitos come out of hiding to feast on bare skin.

To date, the Zika virus has been carried primarily (as far the experts know) by the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. But there is growing suspicion that Aedes albopictus is a potential carrier. If this turns out to be the case, the risk area for Zika virus transmission will explode.

The highest risk identified to date is throughout the entire subtropical and tropical area of North America: the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, most of South American (except Chile), and the southern U.S.—mostly Florida, the Gulf States, including Texas, the southern Atlantic coast region, and southern Arizona.

If Aedes albopictus, which is common well beyond A. aegypti’s range, becomes a co-conspirator and joins the latter transmitting the Zika virus, then the entire area south of the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, and all states from Texas to the east coast, will be susceptible to local transmission of the virus.

That’s going to require a lot of summer weather long-sleeved blouses and pants, DEET, and Skin So Soft.

Check out the maps developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/pdfs/CHIKV_VectorControl.pdf

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