(CNSNews.com) – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated a report last week illustrating on U.S. maps that the two mosquitoes with the potential to transmit the Zika virus, as well as other viruses such as dengue and chikungunya, could inhabit areas this summer that include parts of all but ten states in the United States.
The report on Zika and pregnancy also states: “Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals in the world because of the diseases they spread.”
Much of U.S. territory--from California to Virginia to Maine--is in the potential range of the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which have the potential to transmit the Zika virus. Of the two, the CDC says, the Aedes aegypti mosquitos are the “more likely to spread viruses.”
The CDC also verified to CNSNews.com via email that the map of potential exposure includes all but 10 states in the United States.
Only Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan, and Utah are outside the potential range of both of these mosquitoes.The highlighted areas of the map, the CDC stressed, “represent CDC’s best estimate of the current potential range” of the mosquitoes and “are not meant to represent risk for spread of the disease.” The maps have been updated from “a variety of sources.”
“These maps include areas where mosquitoes are or have been previously found as of 2016,” the CDC told CNSNews.com.
The CDC adds that the maps “are intended to help both mosquito-control professionals and the general public understand where these mosquitoes are found so that they can take steps to protect against mosquito bites, and possible infection with Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue and chikungunya.”
“CDC is not able to predict exactly when Zika virus will arrive in the continental United States or how much the Zika virus could spread if and when local mosquito-borne transmission is detected,” the CDC told CNSNews.com.
Mosquitoes qualify as the "deadliest animals in the world," the CDC told CNSnews.com, because they spread diseases such as chikungunya, dengue, zika, and malaria.
In a Zika outbreak, the CDC reported, “people may not even know they are infected,” and “based on current knowledge, the greatest risk for complications from Zika is to a pregnant woman’s fetus,” as the disease “has been linked to cases of microcephaly, a serious birth defect, and is a sign that the baby is born with a smaller brain, which can result in medical problems and impaired development."
The report advises pregnant women to avoid travel to any area with Zika and “prevent mosquito bites, including covering up arms and legs and using EPA-registered insect repellent, which is safe to use during pregnancy.”
It also advises women to “use latex condoms, the right way, every time or choose not to have any type of sex if the male partner has been in an area with Zika during the pregnancy.”
The CDC’s report also features an infographic on mosquito prevention recommending measures like eliminating “standing water inside and outside your home” and wearing “long-sleeved shirts and pants and treat clothing with permethrin.”