You may have heard about Zika virus disease in the news lately, especially if you have been considering travel to Central or South America. This disease is caused by the Zika virus, which can be transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito species in the genus Aedes.
Common symptoms to watch are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, and the infection is usually short-lived. A newly recognized symptom, the ability to cause the birth defect microcephaly when a pregnant woman is infected, has raised considerable recent concerns, and on February 1, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). (Source: CDC)
Although this an important disease to watch, if you are in Wisconsin, the mosquitoes most likely to carry Zika virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, are not likely to make it this far north. We will be undertaking active surveillance for these mosquitoes this summer nonetheless, so please refer to the mosquito surveillance tab above to get the latest on what we’ve found.Above: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated estimated A. aegypti range.