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Florida Mosquitoes Highly Susceptible to Transmitting Chikungunya Virus

AUG 02, 2017 | MICHAELA FLEMING
The researchers found that both species had high rates of susceptibility for infection and accelerated transmission for both relevant strains. In addition, they found that the saliva of the mosquitoes exhibited high susceptibility rates. This is important to know because saliva is the first point of contact with a human body when a mosquito bites human flesh.

Other important findings include the fact that Aedes albopictus exhibited higher rates of infection and transmission of the Indian Ocean strain immediately after ingesting infected blood. "Aedes aegypti had higher body infection and saliva infection later during infection with the Asian strain of chikungunya virus than Ae. albopictus,” according to the study. The researchers also concluded that, over time, both species experienced sharp declines in transmission and infection rates.

The information gleaned from the evaluation " can provide useful measurements that can be used in risk assessment by scientists as they model chikungunya transmission," according to the press release. Outbreaks of the illness are difficult to predict; however, because the presence of Aedes albopictus or Aedes aegypti does not necessarily mean that either strains of the virus are present. Both species of mosquitoes are commonly found in areas across the United States that have not, thus far, experienced any outbreaks; however, individuals should still ensure they are taking preventive measures to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses, such as wearing protective clothing, eliminating standing water, and wearing insect repellant.
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