Culex Mosquito May Escalate Zika Virus Cases

August 25, 2016

 

Culex mosquito, commonly found in California may just be a Zika carrier as well, according to research UC Davis ecologist and a top Brazilian institution in science.

One protective measure against the zika virus is to use mosquito repellent nets.

 

The species also known as southern house mosquito may cause another twist and further complicate the ongoing research since the vectors responsible for spreading the virus will have multiplied.

 

Initially, it was believed that only two types of Aedes mosquito could spread Zika. It was of some comfort to Californians that the species were very rare or unlikely to be found in the state.

 

Based on their research in Brazil where the virus is common, there were areas where the Aedes mosquitoes were hardly found yet the number of infection remained on the rise. Walter Leal cautioned that there was a need to take the necessary caution against the mosquito as well as research continues.

 

Whether the Culex mosquito can pass the virus to a human being is yet to be scientifically confirmed. The southern house species studied in Brazil is the same found in Southern California. Sacramento area, on the other hand, is infested by the northern mosquitoes and the hybrids of both the north and southern which are the carriers of West Nile Virus.

 

The North Culex is said to be very common in the area according to Luz Maria Robles, who is the spokeswoman for the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District. This she said was caused by the stagnant water around homes.

 

With the hot weather, mosquitoes have risen in numbers. The control district in Yolo County began a spraying exercise to eliminate mosquitoes after two cases of West Nile virus was reported in Yolo.

 

Zika virus infects the salivary glands of the vector mosquitoes, which is transferred to the next victim while in carrier mosquitoes, the virus does not go beyond the stomach.

Some experts, however, suggest that there is no need to panic as Culex mosquito prefers feeding on birds than humans. Hence its threat to transmit the virus to people is minimal.

 

The developments escalate the concerns in America over the spread of the virus. With 1400 cases reported in the US, California has recorded 98 cases. All the infections are linked to travel to the affected countries and areas. Two cases in Florida however, may not be travel related, and this is bound to stir up more research as it can be the first case of transmission in the United States.

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