Not All Mosquitoes Are The Same
Different mosquitoes spread different viruses and bite at different times of the day
A mosquito that can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika fever, and yellow fever viruses, and other diseases. The mosquito can be recognized by white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of its thorax. This mosquito originated in Africa, but is now found in tropical and subtropical regions throughout the world
Chikungunya virus is a pathogen transmitted by mosquitoes, Chikungunya virus in Florida in July of 2014. As of July 22, 2014, The name “Chikungunya” is attributed to the Kimakonde (a
Mozambique dialect) word meaning “that which bends up”, which describes the primary symptom – excruciating joint pain. Although rarely fatal, the symptoms are debilitating and may persist for several
weeks. There is no vaccine and primary treatment is limited to pain medication.
The mosquito species that transmit this disease are the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti). Genetically, it appears that viral strain currently spreading throughout the Americas is more easily transmitted by Ae. aegypti. Both species lay their eggs in containers such as cans, discarded tires and other items that hold water close to human habitation, but Ae. aegypti is more geographically confined to the southeastern United States.
Zika virus has emerged from its origins in central Africa and has rapidly spread to the South Pacific and western hemisphere. A Flavivirus related to West Nile, Yellow Fever, St Louis and the
equine encephalitides, Zika was first discovered in macaque monkeys in 1947 in the Zika Forest region of Uganda. Since its discovery in 2014 off the coast of South America, Zika cases have been found
in 35 countries in the Americas.
As of 28 April, 2016, there have been 426 reported cases of Zika virus due to travel to endemic areas
Zika is usually transmitted through the bit of an infected Aedes agypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. The illness is usually quite mild, with fever, rash, conjunctivitis and joint pain lasting a few days to several weeks or months. Often patients are not sick enough to seek medical treatment so a great many cases are not reported.
Both Aedes agypti and Aedes albopictus will feed day or night when a potential host comes within their limited flight ranges..
When traveling to areas endemic for Zika in the Caribbean, it is also recommended to stay in hotels with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside. If available, it is advised to sleep under mosquito bed nets.