mosquito capable of carrying Zika virus found in Ontario

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Wajid Ahmed, left, and Manager of Health Inspection Phil Wong, both of Windsor-Essex Health Unit with BG Sentinel 2 mosquito trap used to discover Aedes aegypti mosquito in Windsor area last week. Photo taken at Windsor-Essex Health Unit August 22, 2017. NICK BRANCACCIO / WINDSOR STAR

WINDSOR, Ont. – A health center in southern Ontario says that a mosquito of the species responsible for most Zika cases worldwide was captured in Canada for the first time but did not carry the virus.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Center claims that one of its mosquito traps recently caught an adult insect of the species Aedes aegypti, and that a larva of the same species was also discovered last year In the region.

The center said Zika’s tests on adult mosquitoes and larvae were negative.

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can carry several other tropical diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya.

They are commonly found in tropical climates, particularly in the southern United States, but some specimens have been found much further north to the state of Michigan.

The Windsor-Essex Health Center was unable to explain how this adult mosquito ended in the area.

Curtis Russell, an expert on mosquito-borne diseases, points out that the population of Aedes aegypti in Canada is too small to cause serious epidemics.

He maintains that the main cause of infection for Canadians remains travel to the affected areas.

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About the Author: Jackie Thorsness

Jackie Thorsness is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. Her writing has appeared in many of the nation’s most respected and credible publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, she is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children.

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