ALTUS, OK (KSWO) – A small number of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, the species is known to be the primary carrier the Zika virus, have been found in locations across Altus. In previous years, Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes have been found in Oklahoma and Comanche counties. However, this is the first discovery of the species in Jackson County.
"The presence of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes in Altus does not mean that community or other communities in Oklahoma will have locally originated cases of Zika virus. Gaining a better understanding of the potential locations and density of this mosquito adds to our knowledge and risk assessment for Zika. For local transmission of Zika virus to be possible, mosquitoes must first pick up the virus from an infected person to be able to spread it to others," said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health began a collaborative mosquito surveillance project with Oklahoma State University.
Four of the six regions being monitored are close to military bases.
"This choice was because of the potential for mosquitoes to be transiently introduced by movement of military supplies," said Dr. Noden, a medical and veterinary entomologist at OSU.
Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The majority of mosquitoes in the state are not carriers of the Zika virus. Oklahoma's dry weather makes it a less favorable region. There have been thirteen cases of Zika virus recorded in Oklahoma, all were acquired while traveling abroad. For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit www.ok.gov/health.