Zika Virus Also Carried by Asian Tiger Mosquito, Research Suggests

Gov. Rick Scott discusses Zika preparedness with local officials

No one has contracted the virus from a mosquito in the state, however, hundreds of residents have been infected while traveling overseas and then returned to California with the infection, according to Public Health officials. These findings necessitate further research if Aedes albopictus can transmit Zika.

This doesn't prove that the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) can transmit Zika to people. Without live Zika virus in the offspring, the presence of Zika RNA suggests that either "the female parent was not itself infected with live Zika virus or it was not able to transfer live Zika virus to her eggs", Smartt commented.

The researchers found Asian tiger males tested positive for Zika RNA - but not the live Zika virus.

Traces of Zika virus genetic material have been found in a second mosquito species, 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. The range of Aedes albopictus expands into the Midwest.

Representatives from the Bay County Health Department said they are available to answer any questions about the virus.

The latest research won't affect the health district's efforts to fight Zika, he said.

Scott said he has been eyeing a Senate run for over a year, but said he remains focused on his job as governor. "Regardless of whether it's an aegypti or an albopictus, the solution is the same". After spreading quickly in Latin America and the Caribbean, Zika arrived in Florida previous year.

In South Florida, Zika has been on a dry-season hiatus. The single case was reported in St. Thomas, bringing the island's total confirmed cases to 681. But it says 3,461 pregnant women in USA territories have shown evidence of contracting Zika. However, the threat abated as state and local officials stepped up efforts at mosquito control.

In addition, state officials have vowed a more robust response to Zika. The team assessed 48 babies from Brazil who were possibly infected by the virus and found that there is a link between Zika and epilepsy.

The disease, which spreads through mosquitoes, can cause fever-like symptoms and birth defects through pregnant women.

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