Brazilian Study Investigates Whether A Mosquito Common To The U.S. Could Carry The Zika Virus

3/22/2016

Can mosquitoes that live in the U.S. carry the Zika virus?

Preliminary findings of research in Brazil show that this could be possible, according to a recent report by PBS NewsHour. Mosquitos of the Aedes genus have been suspected of carrying Zika in Brazil, where the virus has infected hundreds of thousands of people since last year. Researchers at Brazil’s federal research institute, Fiocruz Pernambuco in Recife, are looking into whether mosquitos of the Culex genus could also spread the virus through bites. The researchers are focusing on Culex mosquitoes because they outnumber Aedes mosquitoes in urban Brazil. And this research matters to Atlantans like you--and other Americans--because Culex mosquitos are widespread in the U.S.

In laboratory tests in Brazil, Aedes and Culex mosquitoes were fed Zika-infected blood. A week later, 12 Culex mosquitoes were tested and found positive for the virus. In addition, researchers found that the virus was being reproduced at high rates in the insects’ salivary glands. This offers the possibility that they could transmit the virus through bites. However, more laboratory tests must be conducted before conclusions can be made. The study also will determine whether Culex mosquitoes in the wild are carrying Zika. Tests will be conducted on mosquitos collected by mosquito abatement teams in home inspections. Researchers consider tests of wild mosquitoes essential to concluding whether Culex mosquitoes pose a real risk.

All Mosquitos Should Regardless Be Controlled

Zika often occurs without symptoms or with mild symptoms, such as a rash, low fever and swollen joints. In rare cases, it can cause debilitating conditions by attacking the nervous system. And in some cases it causes birth defects when passed from pregnant mother to baby. Whether or not Culex mosquitoes are found to transmit the Zika virus, they are already known carriers of West Nile virus and Japanese encephalitis in the U.S. So, proper mosquito control is important in the Atlanta area. This includes:

  • Eliminating mosquito breeding grounds such as standing water, tires and buckets
  • Using insect repellant
  • Wearing long-sleeved tops and long pants to minimize exposed skin
  • Using air conditioning or window and door screens

And, you can call on a reputable mosquito control company such as Tuxedo Mosquito Control! We provide the leading mosquito misting systems in Atlanta. We offer safe, effective control through natural pyrethrum-based insecticides.

Tags: mosquito control | mosquito dangers | mosquitoes in atlanta |

 

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