Aedes albopictus – known as the Asian tiger mosquito – is now identified as a vector for Zika virus.
Pan American Health Organization confirmed the presence of Zika in Asian tiger mosquitoes captured San Luis Potosi, Mexico. This particular mosquito has a range as far north as New England and the Lower Great Lakes.
Previously, Aedes aegypti was considered the main vector for the virus. However, US health officials claim to have anticipated the finding citing a 2007 outbreak of Zika in the West African country of Gabon, which saw Aedes albopictus as the primary vector.
“There are officials who have been saying we don’t have aedes aegypti, so we don’t need to be worried or have a plan,” says Janet McAllister, “You need a plan in place because albopictus could transmit Zika in your area, and you need to take it seriously.”
McAllister is an entomologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The albopictus mosquito is particularly fond of grassy and wooded areas such as backyards and parks. Protecting your yard with a Mosquito Magnet could greatly reduce your risk of being bitten. Check this page for regular updates as we learn more about the Zika virus.