PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The mosquito that carries the Zika virus is a problem in Brazil.
“Your feet are very attractive to them. Most people in Latin America are walking around in sandals, it’s summertime down there now. It’s hot, rainy,” Bill Todaro with the Allegheny County Health Department said
The United States isn’t as hospitable. Aedes Aegypti, which carries Dengue, West Nile Virus, and Zika, is only found in Florida, the Gulf Coast, and Texas.
Bill Todaro said this makes the country pretty safe.
“We have a very good system here for early diagnosis of a problem, health care, we have good water and sewage systems, we have a lot of good mosquito control problems that have been established all over the country,” Todaro said. “And people live in nice tight housing, with screens on the doors and windows.”
The options for taking the mosquitoes down include pesticides or releasing genetically modified mosquitoes to breed, which result in larvae that die.
Or you could increase the moquitoes’ predators: larvae-eating fish for example.
In the meantime, people can protect themselves by dumping standing water and using bug spray.
We don’t have the mosquito that carries Zika virus here in our area, but we do have the Asian Tiger mosquito, which is related. Will the asian tiger mosquito carry Zika? That’s a question researchers will have to look at.