(This blog post contains excerpts from an article by Kathy Keatley Garvey.)
On May 26, 2016 a symposium on Zika was held at the University of California, Davis. Speakers included entomologists, immunologists, infectious disease experts, epidemiologists, and other experts from the U.S. and Brazil.
All of the presentations were videotaped and transcribed, and you can click here to see them.
Some key points from the symposium:
– Most people who contract Zika do not exhibit any symptoms whatsoever.
– Zika virus is sexually transmitted; if you contract Zika, you can transmit it to your sexual partner.
– The mosquito, Aedes aegypti, is already in California and other states.
– Nearly 600 cases of Zika have already been reported in the United States, mostly in New York, Florida, and California. Each case involved a U.S. traveler from a Zika virus “hot spot.”
– Zika can persist up to 62 days in human semen.
– Laboratory tests show that the common mosquito, Culex spp., can vector the virus and field tests are underway. Culex transmits West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, and equine encephalitis.
– The two mosquitoes have varying feeding and breeding patterns: Mosquitoes in the genus Culex feed at night, and Aedes aegypti in the day. Culex lays its eggs in polluted water, and Aedes aegypti in clean/clear water.
– Culex quinquefasciatus, the southern house mosquito, is a potential vector; it has similar vector competence, and is much more abundant.
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