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Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, including the kind that bear the dangerous Zika virus.

Zika-Carrying Mosquitoes Back in NM: What You Can Do

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The New Mexico Department of Health says a species of mosquitoes that can transmit the Zika virus has been identified in Doña Ana County. It’s the first time this season – and the second year in a row – that these specific species have been found in the southern part of the state.

Dr. Alfredo Vigil is a former secretary for the department. He says threats to public health funding and education in today’s growing anti-science political climate are the greatest hindrances to preventing Zika and other outbreaks, and it’s important for people to protect themselves.

“As much as possible, people should eliminate standing water,” he says. “Secondly, people should use insect repellent in those areas where this is a risk. There’ve been governmental efforts to spray high-risk areas to try to decrease mosquito proliferation.”

He says folks in southern New Mexico – especially mothers and women who are pregnant – would be wise to take precautions. Zika’s worst effects are to children and the unborn. It can be carried and transmitted by human adults without symptoms.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal health departments have done well at predicting where the disease-carrying insects will be, Vigil says. However, as a mechanism of evolution, it’s possible they can acclimate to more diverse environments such as southern New Mexico, where there is plenty of space for outdoor recreation in peak mosquito season.

“It’s not a surprise that more mosquitoes have been found, and frankly it won’t be a surprise when a few cases of actual human infection are detected,” he adds.

Vigil says mosquitoes that have caused the widest concern for spreading Zika have traditionally stayed closer to warmer and more humid climates, but he warns not to underestimate their pursuit of their primary food source, human blood.

Author: Brett McPherson, Public News Service (NM)

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One comment

  1. I saw a few glaring omissions on the Wikipedia page called “Zika fever” so I added crucial information with citations. However, within three hours, every study I cited was removed. And, I filmed it all: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2ZuG12yM0E&t

    Sources included: Arbovirus survey in wild birds in Uganda (Okia et al. 1971) http://www.infobarrel.com/Birds_as_Reservoir_Hosts_of_Zika_What_You_Are_Not_Being_Told

    Dr. Constancia Ayres in Fiocruz Recife has shown that a far more common mosquito, Culex quinquefasciatus, which breeds in dirty water (Aedes aegypti mostly breeds in clean water), can be infected with Zika virus in the lab. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2016/apr/12/on-front-line-brazil-war-zika-virus-i-felt-horror-movie-no-cure

    Dr. Duschinka Guedes presented strong evidence that “in Recife, Brazil, both Aedes aegypti and Cules quinquefasciatus are vectors” of the Zika virus. Source: https://f1000research.com/articles/5-2546/v1

    In September 2016, a study by Guo et al. concluded: “These laboratory results clearly demonstrate the potential role of Cx. p. quinquefasciatus as a vector of ZIKV in China. Because there are quite different vector management strategies required to control Aedes (Stegomyia) species and Cx. p. quinquefasciatus, an integrated approach may be required should a Zika epidemic occur.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27599470?dopt=Abstract

    Wolbachia spp. should be further evaluated as causes of human infection, especially as Wolbachia infection of mosquitoes is increasingly considered to be a tool for interfering with mosquito-borne transmission of human pathogens. Source: http://www.clinicalmicrobiologyandinfection.com/article/S1198-743X(14)00040-8/fulltext

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