Zika is Still a Threat

April 29, 2019

Female Yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Photo taken 03/14/16.Although no outbreak of illness from the Zika virus has been reported in Florida in recent months, it poses a danger.

Yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes found in the state – and infected with the Zika virus – are good at transmitting the virus, new University of Florida research shows.

In rare cases, the virus can cause paralysis (Guillain-Barré Syndrome) and birth defects.

Researchers at the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and across the globe are keeping a close eye on the virus and studying how it is transmitted from mosquitoes to people.

“Despite the absence of current local transmission in Florida, Zika will remain a public health threat for the foreseeable future in the Americas,” said Barry Alto, an associate professor of entomology at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) in Vero Beach, Florida.

Residents should follow standard precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Follow guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control at http://bit.ly/2UWTUWn.

(Photo courtesy of UF/IFAS)