15 things you need to know about Zika and mosquitoes in Spanish Fort, Daphne, Mobile and Fairhope, Alabama
The Zika mosquito
This is a female Aedes aegypti mosquito on the arm of a researcher in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Aedes aegypti has spread Zika and other ugly viruses, but it has not been seen in Alabama for years. Health experts say it may survive in small pockets, but it is not a major concern as we enter the summer. Worry about it mainly if you’re visiting known Zika outbreak spots, subtropical south Florida, extreme south Texas or south Louisiana.
Here is where active transmission of Zika from mosquitoes to humans has been reported and verified. Note that the area includes many popular island vacation spots and cruise ship stops.
Centers for Disease Control
The number of cases
There have been 5 reported Zika cases in Alabama but even more in Florida and Georgia. None of the cases in Alabama, Florida or Georgia was a “local transmission,” meaning caused by the bite of a local mosquito. All were “travel” cases where someone was infected outside the United States.
How to get Zika
People are legitimately worried about mosquito-borne Zika, especially if it mutates to strains other mosquitoes can carry. But what’s new is Zika’s ability to be transmitted by men to their partners – female or male – via sexual contact. This is a first for a mosquito-borne disease. Zika is known to stay in semen longer than blood, but exactly how long it can stay there isn’t known yet.
Lee Roop | email@example.com