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The Culex species of mosquitoes does not appear to transmit Zika, according to a new study that may help control the virus and prevent its spread.
Zika virus disease can have symptoms including mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, or headache.
Researchers from the Kansas State University studied Culex species mosquitoes from across the US, including Vero Beach in Florida, which is near Miami-Dade County where mosquitoes are spreading Zika virus.
The findings are important for controlling Zika virus and preventing its spread, said lead author Dana Vanlandingham, assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas.
"It's very important to know that Culex mosquitoes are not able to transmit Zika. It enables people to target their control strategies so that they are not wasting time and effort on a mosquito that is not transmitting Zika virus," Vanlandingham said.
Before this study, Culex mosquito's role in Zika virus was unclear. By studying Culex mosquitoes over a period of time, the researchers found that Zika virus did not multiply and instead disappeared in the species.
"We can check this particular group of mosquitoes off the list here in the US and focus efforts of control on the mosquitoes that we know can infect, like Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus," said Stephen Higgs, from the Kansas.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the US has identified Aedes aegypti, or yellow fever mosquito, and Aedes albopictus, or Asian tiger mosquito, as two species that transmit Zika virus.
Culex mosquitoes are brown mosquitoes, while Aedes aegypti are black and Aedes albopictus are black and white. Culex mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus and Japanese encephalitis and live outside.
Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus can live in and around houses in plant trays, spare containers or gutters.
"We need to know which mosquitoes to target and which mosquitoes not to target because mosquitoes live in different environments. Some mosquitoes are found outside and some are more in people's homes. You need to know this in order to target your efforts," said Vanlandingham.
The research appears in the journal Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)