Saturday, July 15, 2017

Canadian mosquitoes don't carry Zika virus - at least not yet

Scientists have been studying whether Canadian mosquitoes might be able to transmit viruses like Zika, and there's good news and bad news.
There are over 60 different species of mosquitoes spoiling the Canadian summer, but most of them are relatively benign and don't carry nasty diseases like malaria, dengue, yellow fever and Zika (although West Nile Disease has occasionally, and increasingly, reared its ugly head in recent years). But the two species known to transmit the Zika virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are tropical and subtropical species, not typically found in Canada.
So, the good news from the study - which has been backed up by a similar study at the National Biology Lab in Winnipeg - is that none of the Canadian species tested seemed able to transmit Zika (although a few species still remain to be tested).
The bad news is that, unexpextedly, some A. aegypti were found in traps in Windsor, Ontario, a long way from their traditional southern home. And with climate change, that is only going to become a more and more common trend.

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