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ZIKV FACTS: The aedes aegypti mosquito

Published:Monday | February 8, 2016 | 12:00 AM
The Aedes aegypti mosquito, vector of the Zika virus.


How is Zika

virus spread?


In Jamaica, the Aedes aegypti mosquito is the only mosquito that can spread the zika virus. If the mosquito bites someone who is infected with ZIKV, the mosquito becomes a carrier of the virus and infects anyone it bites.

This Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is commonly found in Jamaica, also transmits dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. There are other types of aedes mosquitoes that can spread these viruses, but they are not found in Jamaica.


What are the habits of the Aedes aegypti mosquito?


- The Aedes aegypti mosquito bites at any time during the day or night. It is found in and around homes, schools, workplaces and other places where people gather.

- One infected Aedes aegypti mosquito is able to infect several persons.

- The mosquito breeds in any container where water is allowed to settle. The most common breeding sites are drums, tyres, flower pots and containers in and around homes, schools, workplaces and communities.

- The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes produce, on average, 100 to 200 eggs per batch. Laid eggs can survive for very long periods in a dry state, often for more than a year.

- The lifespan of the adult mosquito is two weeks to a month.


What can be done to reduce the risk of getting ZIKV?


Reduce or eliminate mosquito-breeding sites:

- Check premises weekly for water-filled containers.

- Throw away or recycle water containers that are not needed.

- Containers such as drums should be fully and tightly covered, turned over or placed under a roof that does not allow them to be filled with water.

- Clean and scrub flower vases and pets' water containers weekly and dump the water from overflow saucers under potted plants and flower pots.

- Clear roof gutters and eaves to prevent water from settling.

- Fill tree holes and other cavities in plants with soil or sand.

- Repair leaking pipes and outside faucets.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites by:

- Using a mosquito repellent that contains DEET, IR3535 or Icaridin.

- Sleeping under a mosquito net.

- Wearing light-coloured clothing and cover body as much as possible.