There’s another mosquito carrying Zika virus

170414-zika-virus-feature

Traces of the Zika virus have been found in a second mosquito species — a bloodsucker quite at home in New York, according to a troubling new study.

Scientists discovered genetic material linked to the virus in the eggs of Asian tiger mosquitoes — which migrated to New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in 1985, according to the study from the Medical Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida, in Vero Beach, UPI reported.

“Our results mean that [Asian tigers] may have a role in Zika virus transmission and should be of concern to public health,” warned study author Chelsea Smartt.

It’s unclear yet whether Asian tigers can transmit the devastating disease to humans, but the finding proves more research is needed into other possible carriers of Zika , she added.

For the study, Smartt and her colleagues collected mosquitoes in Brazil, hatched the insects eggs and found Asian tiger males tested positive for Zika genetic makeup, but not the live virus.

The main carrier of Zika is the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, prefers tropical and subtropical climates, but has been found in 23 states, including New York, and as far north as Maine, entomologists note.

“Extensive research still needs to be done,” Smartt said.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s