Auburn University Researchers Discover Zika Transmitting Mosquito in Alabama
The Zika mosquito has not been confirmed in Alabama for 26 years until Auburn University captured some in 2016 near Mobile.
Aedes Aegypti carries Zika, Yellow Fever, and other viruses.
“Alabama is in a spot where there will be potential risks or possible health risks in the future if Zika is to re-emerge,” said Dr. Sarah Zohdy, Asst. Professor of Disease Ecology.
Since that discovery, Auburn University will partner with the Alabama Department of Public Health to study all 67 Alabama counties, to zero in on hot spots for this type of mosquito.
“This mosquito, because it can transmit so many viruses, knowing it’s here helps us better identify where insecticide is needed in the state and to generally improve public health and mosquito prevention strategies,” said Dr. Zohdy.
Despite Zika scares in recent years and this type of mosquito being back on the map in Alabama, researchers said there is no need to panic. The risk of Zika infection is still relatively low.
“There’s not a high likelihood that they are here, but we want to make sure that if they are here we find them and alert medical authorities, so they can properly handle these diseases in the state,” said Ben McKenzie, Graduate Research Student.
They hope to finish the statewide study by this summer.
Like always, especially this time of year, to protect yourself from bites, wear long sleeves, insect repellent and remove all standing water around your home.