Local expert weighs in on new Zika virus development

Aedes aegypti mosquito
FILE - This 2006 file photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. The The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, announced new guidance for doctors whose pregnant patients may have traveled to regions with a tropical illness linked to birth defects. Officials say doctors should ask pregnant women about their travel and certain symptoms, and, if warranted, test them for an infection with the Zika virus. The virus is spread through mosquito bites. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP, File)

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT/AP)- Experts in Eastern North Carolina weighed in on the new development of the Zika virus.

Florida’s Governor Rick Scott confirmed Friday there are 4 cases of the virus, which were given through local transmission.

He said one woman and three men in Miami-Dade and Broward counties likely contracted the virus through mosquito bites.

The Centers for Disease Control said North Carolina is another state at risk.

WNCT asked Pitt County vector manager Jim Gardner if he was concerned by Friday’s findings.

“Yes sooner of later it was going to be transmitted by mosquito,” Gardner said. “Do we expect it to come to NC? We don’t expect it but at the same time it is possible.”

Gardner said there are 27 types of mosquitoes in our state.

He said the species most associated with Zika hasn’t been trapped in the state since 2008.

There is another vector of the virus.

“That mosquito is present in fairly large numbers. It’s a container breeding mosquito,” Gardner said.

County officials ECU researchers, and other schools around the state are closely monitoring the types of mosquitoes found.

They use traps to collect mosquitoes for identification.

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