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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Zika - Predicted distribution of of A. aegypti and A. albopictus, February 23.

Source and Download here

This does not bode well for much of the southern and eastern US, or for much of the Midwest and central California. Or, for that matter, for the most densely populated region of Canada, from Windsor, Ontario to Montreal. We're not on the map, yet, but we'll have our hands full even if we have to deal only with imported cases of Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. HT & Source: Crof.

Based on the Agency's Rapid Risk Assessment, the overall risk to Canadians, in Canada, is very low, as mosquitoes known to transmit the virus are not established in Canada and are not well-suited to our climate.

The primary risk of autochthonous transmission in Canada would arise from Aedes albopictus mosquitoes becoming established here. Our knowledge of its current whereabouts is based on informal surveillance. More field research is needed in North America to better understand and predict the climatic limits of this species Footnote 10.

Several factors could alter this assessment. Temperatures suitable for chikungunya virus transmission are achieved at times in many parts of Canada during the summer Footnote 9, and it is possible that in some circumstances housing conditions and densities of uninfected people would be sufficient to sustain limited outbreaks. Furthermore, it is possible that genetic plasticity of mosquito species could improve their capacity to survive in cooler, more northerly climates, although this is difficult to predict Footnote 10. Finally, viral mutations could theoretically result in viruses becoming transmissible by other vectors that are established in Canada Footnote 2.
In conclusion, our observations suggest that the current risk of autochthonous spread of chikungunya virus in Canada is very low, but there are gaps in our knowledge and several factors could alter this risk assessment. 
This suggests the need for ongoing risk assessment, consideration of the projected effects of climate change, surveillance for human cases of chikungunya, enhanced surveillance for mosquito vectors, and the development of plans for prevention and control of outbreaks of this and other exotic vector-borne diseases that may threaten the health of Canadians in the coming decades.

1 comment:

  1. Effective mosquito control is problematic here in Northern Virginia: drainage ditches and storm drains with stagnant water abound.

    It's not just a matter of cleaning out birdbaths and old tires.


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