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Zika Virus in North Carolina -- Where Are We Now?

Zika Virus in North Carolina -- Where Are We Now?

Not too long ago there was a large-scale outbreak of Zika virus, primarily focused in South America. For a time, it seemed it could spread to the United States and, particularly, the southeastern states. Residents of NC, being a state that deals with considerable numbers of mosquitoes every year, have every right to be worried about Zika virus in North Carolina – especially given the reports. Hundreds of confirmed cases have made their way to the US and as of recently the CDC has confirmed a case in just about every state.

Adult MosquitoThere is quite a bit of good news, though. To date, every one of the less-than-100 cases of Zika virus in North Carolina has been brought in from another area. It isn’t spreading locally – and for a very specific reason. The spread of Zika has been linked to one specific type of mosquito – aedes aegypti. This type of mosquito is very common in South America which contributed, in part, to the rapid spread of the disease. The aedes aegypti prefers tropical and subtropical climates that is only found in the southern-most areas of states such as Fla, Tx, and Calif. We have plenty of mosquitoes here in the Raleigh/Triangle area to be sure, but they are mostly the aedes albopictus (asian tiger) type which, so far, have not been linked to the zika virus..

Having said all of that, experts still recommended that everyone, particularly pregnant women, take care around mosquito-prone areas and pay close attention to travel advisories. Wikipedia and cdc.gov have maps on their websites that show the “potential” range of aedes aegypti to extend as far north as Pennsylvania and Delaware, but that does not mean a local transmission of zika has been found in those areas; it means only that it is possible. So it is entirely possible that aedes aegypti could make its way to North Carolina from the southern states. Experts will be keeping a close eye out for the spread of this particular mosquito, though it is important to note that not every aegypti is carrying Zika. For now, then, it seems North Carolina is largely safe from local transmission of Zika. The return of mosquitoes in great numbers each spring could bring new information on the virus as well. Innovative Pest Solutions would be proud to provide mosquito treatment for your yard in order to aid the reduction of its mosquito population. Give us a call today at 919-847-6267 to schedule an inspection and discuss treatment with one of our technicians.