A southern Ontario health unit says a mosquito species responsible for the majority of Zika cases has been captured in Canada for the first time, but it isn’t carrying the virus.
The Windor-Essex County Health Unit says one of their mosquito traps recently caught an adult Aedes aegypti mosquito, and says the specie’s larvae was also found in the area last year.
But the unit says the adult mosquito and the mosquitos reared from the larvae in a lab have tested negative for Zika virus.
Aedes aegypti mosquitos are capable of carrying the Zika virus as well as a number of other tropical diseases, including dengue fever, chikungunya, and yellow fever.
They are typically found in tropical environments, including the southern United States, but have been known to travel as far north as Michigan.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says it is unclear exactly how the recently captured adult mosquito arrived in the region.
Curtis Russell, a Public Health Ontario expert in mosquito-borne diseases, says the Aedes aegypti mosquito population in Canada is too small for a serious outbreak of Zika.
He adds that the main way for Canadians to catch Zika is still by travelling to regions with reported cases of the virus.
(The Canadian Press)