Frequently Asked Questions

Some information from our scientist, Dr. Brunilda Lugo.

DO THE MAPS SHOW WHERE MOSQUITO COLONIES CURRENTLY LIVE?

  • No. Real-time data that correlates the actual Aedes aegypti population with environmental factors favorable for the mosquito’s reproduction are not shown on this map.
  • Communities across the USA stress the importance of managing the mosquito population in their areas. Successful mosquito control in many communities, such as in Gulf County Florida, or New Orleans Louisiana can greatly reduce risks.
  • As the CDC and WHO organizations say, no mosquitoes means no disease.

WHERE CAN I SEE MOSQUITO RANGE MAPS?

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maps shows historical ranges of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and the Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. See:Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Surveillance and Control of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in thte United States. Retrieved from CDC.
  • County health officials and the CDC do not routinely survey mosquito populations in all areas at all times. Instead, officials may confirm that there are colonies of mosquitoes in an area after a case of Zika virus is reported to county health officials.

WHAT DOES THE ZikaZoneUSA.com MAP SHOW?

  • The ZikaZoneUSA.com map shows the areas where up-to-date conditions favor the prolonged survival of the key mosquito that transmits Zika, the Aedes aegypti.
  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have adapted to live and build colonies in close proximity to humans, thereby increasing mosquito to human transmission potentials.
  • The ZikaZoneUSA.com maps offer public health officials the opportunity to be aware of the potential for the spread of mosquitos in their area so they can take action.
  • ZikaZoneUSA.com maps areas where the recent climate conditions are optimal to induce the mosquito to become active, breed and bite.
  • Public health officials can use the maps to make informed decisions on the need to survey for the key mosquito that transmits Zika, the Aedes aegypti and take preventative actions.

CAN TRAVEL-RELATED ZIKA CASE TRIGGER A LOCAL TRANSMISSION OUTBREAK?

  • Yes. Travel-related cases of Zika were the trigger for the August 2016 outbreak of locally transmitted cases in and around Miami.
  • There are many factors involved in the potential for locally-transmitted Zika cases. Recent work by the National Center for Atmospheric Research has been shown on many television newscasts. For more information see: Monoghan, A., Morin, C., Steinhoff, D., Willhelmi, O., Hayden, M., Quattrochi, D., . . . Ernst, K. (2016). On the seasonal occurrence and abundance of Zika virus vector mosquito Aedes aegypti in the contigous United States. PLOS Currents Outbreaks, 33.
  • By itself, if a mosquito bites an infected person and then bites another human, the mosquito could transmit the virus.
  • Travel-associated Zika, in juxtaposition with areas highlighted on ZikaZoneUSA.com, may trigger a local transmission outbreak when there are also the compounding factors of dense populations of both mosquitoes and people.
  • If a viremic traveler arrives in a densely populated area with ample colonies of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, then yes, the mosquito can bite the infected traveler and then bite another human, and thereby transmit the virus.
  • Locally transmitted outbreaks are more likely where the environmental conditions are prime as shown in ZikaZoneUSA.com. Travel-introduced Zika cases in conjunction with ecological conditions can trigger local-transmission outbreaks.

WHAT IS THE INFECTION SCENARIO FOR ZIKA?

  • The mosquito bites an infected traveler within the first week of a Zika infection while the virus is still virulent within the person's blood.
  • The mosquito lives long enough for the virus to multiply inside the mosquito.
  • The mosquito bites and infects multiple people for several days.
  • After biting, the mosquito finds a place with water to lay eggs, 100-500 eggs a day.
  • More mosquitos, more bites, more potential for the virus to spread.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY “BE AWARE AND PREPARE” OR HOW CAN I USE THE MAP?

The maps can inform public health officials in the red zones as to the need to:

  • Determine where they should survey mosquito populations.
  • Educate the community about the timely potential for the spread of the mosquito in their area.
  • Heighten health monitoring of possibly infected travelers.
  • Encourage citizens to be alert to symptoms and seek medical attention.
  • Make physicians aware of potentials for outbreaks in their area so they can advise patients wishing to get pregnant and recognize symptoms in their patients.

Communities can use the map to decide to investigate options for mosquito control so they can:

  • Clean up around buildings, remove trash, monitor potential mosquito host sites.
  • Remove standing water.
  • Empty and clean water containers, flower pots, dog dishes.
  • Spray areas where colonies of mosquitoes reside.
  • Pay attention to public health service messages.
  • Read education materials.

Individuals can use the map to know when they might need to be extra vigilant and take steps to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Wear light colored clothes with long sleeves and pants, socks and shoes when outside.
  • Dim inside lights at night as mosquitoes will bite in brightly lit homes even at night.
  • Apply bug repellant recommended by the CDC.
  • Inspect their dwellings and yards and take measures to remove vessels of standing water of all sizes.
  • Clean containers to remove eggs as directed by CDC.
  • Keep doors and windows closed or protected by screens.
  • Stay indoors and use air conditioning.
  • Use condoms and protection during sex.