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Zika Virus: What You Need to Know About its Vector – The Aedes aegypti Mosquito

This document was posted by the Entomological Society of America.

The Zika virus, originally from Africa, first appeared in the Western hemisphere on Chile’s Easter Island in 2014 and was initially found on the mainland in Brazil in April 2015. Since then, it has spread very rapidly throughout Latin America and is now found as far north as northeastern Mexico. Though infection of healthy adults does not produce symptoms as severe as other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue or chikungunya, it appears to be linked to microcephaly in babies born to mothers infected in the first trimester of pregnancy. To date, the incidence of microcephaly, a condition in which children are born with an abnormally small head and potential issues in brain development, in Brazil has increased significantly since the Zika virus began to circulate there. Continue reading

Global warming may affect effectiveness of permethrin, study shows

From the Entomological Society of America

The effectiveness of an important mosquito-fighting insecticide may be impaired by global warming, according to a recent study in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Two researchers from Montana State University, graduate student Shavonn Whiten and Dr. Robert Peterson, have shown that permethrin becomes less effective at killing the yellowfever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) as temperatures increase.

These mosquitoes, which are found in the tropics and the subtropics, can transmit viruses that lead to dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and other diseases. Continue reading