WINDSOR, Ont. – Health officials say there’s “no current risk” after a mosquito species capable of transmitting the Zika virus to humans was found in the Windsor, Ont., area.
Four Aedes albopictus mosquitoes were discovered last month during regular surveillance for the West Nile virus, but all of them tested negative for Zika.
Local medical officer of health Dr. Gary Kirk says this is not the species that is responsible for the majority of human cases of the virus in the Caribbean, South America and Florida.
This type of mosquito has been found before in Ontario and it is not known how it arrived in the province, but it is suspected it was transported from the U.S. in shipping containers.
There has been one case of Zika virus in Windsor-Essex, but officials say that person contracted the virus through travel.
Officials also note the mosquito can’t establish in the area because the winters are too cold and they believe the hot temperatures this past summer allowed the mosquitoes to survive.
“Based on all we know about this mosquito, the lack of Zika virus in it locally and in our community, we conclude there is no current risk of Zika virus risk transmission in Windsor-Essex County,” Kirk told a news conference on Thursday.
Dr. Doug Sider, medical director of communicable disease prevention for Public Health Ontario says after the initial discovery, more traps were put out.
Sider said further trapping last week using traps more specific for the Aedes albopictus mosquito didn’t find any more of the mosquitoes.
Officials say the greatest risk to contracting Zika virus continues to be travelling to Zika-risk areas.
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