UTMB researchers determine certain mosquitoes more susceptible to carry Zika
HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Zika, the virus which can cause microcephaly in unborn babies, has been detected among mosquitoes in a Miami neighborhood.
Florida is the first and only state in the U.S. where there is evidence of locally-acquired cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In a statement released by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, he wrote that he believes that "it is just a matter of time before Texas is in a similar situation."
Governor Greg Abbott also requested federal funding to combat the Zika virus in a letter sent to President Obama on Friday.
Researchers at UTMB say there is still a lot we don't know about Zika. A recent study at UTMB, however, has revealed that not all mosquitoes are carriers. The study focused primarily on two mosquitoes, the Culex and the Aedes aegyptire, also known as the yellow fever mosquito.
UTMB researchers have determined that at this time, it does not appear as though the Culex, which is common across Texas, transmits or carries the disease.
"Zika is not even able to establish an infection in these Culex mosquitoes," says Sasha Azar, a graduate student and researcher at UTMB.
According to the research, the aedes aegyptire is quite susceptible to the virus. It has been found in Miami and is also in Houston and can transmit the virus.
"Aedes aegyptire, on the other hand, are daytime biters," adds Azar. "They'll follow people around because they love humans. They bite during the day and are in and around houses."
There are things you can do to avoid the virus, according to the CDC, which recommends that anyone who is at risk not wear dark-colored clothing.
The CDC has also made recommendations for pregnant women to avoid traveling to the Wynwood district in Miami where there are six confirmed locally-acquired cases. People are also advised to wear long sleeves and try to ensure there is no stagnant water on property and that windows are properly screened.