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Primates That Can Carry the Zika Virus

What Monkeys Carry and Spread Zika Virus

The Zika Virus doesn’t show up in the news as it did just a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean it has disappeared. Scientists continue to research and review because mosquito-borne disease outbreaks can always resurface quickly.

A Little About Zika

Zika became nationally known in the United States in 2016. Most cases came from travelers bringing it back into the country, however eventually a little over 200 cases appeared to have come from a local mosquito bite. In 2017 the numbers were substantially lower and have remained so since then. The effects of the Zika virus for most were minimal, flu-like, if anything, except for babies that became infected in the womb. For these babies, the effects were critical and life-changing. Microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects occurred in children due to the Zika virus. The effects will be revealing themselves for years to come.

Where Do the Monkeys Fit In?

Very recently ecologists at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies conducted a study on primates and how they can harbor the diseases that mosquitoes carry. They felt as if in the past when diseases were modeled, there were huge gaps and it made it hard to predict the locations of people at risk. The lead author, Barbara Han, and her group chose to combine some modeling techniques to bridge that gap in information and recognize what primates could carry the Zika virus and where they live among us.

What they found was, there are five primate species that can harbor and could potentially transmit the Zika virus living in the Americas. Those primates were the tufted capuchin, the Venezuelan red howler, the white-faced capuchin, the white-fronted capuchins, and the spider monkey.

Each of these primates have adapted to living in developed areas, among humans, and even as pets. The mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus also live well in developed areas and around people. This isn’t a great combination. Though the numbers for Zika have been low since 2016, this study shows that a potential for future outbreaks exists. The new ability to create more specific models also helps in avoiding such outbreaks. Science always has a way of showing us the good and the bad at the same time.

Stay Protected from Zika Virus

Probably few own pet monkeys or even have friends that do, but mosquitoes are everywhere, and anything that adds the risk of the Zika virus and the other diseases that they carry can be a little frightening. There is no need for fear. All you need is professional protection.

By eliminating the mosquitoes in your yard, Mosquito Squad helps eliminate any fears that you may have. Unless you have your own, it’s best to leave the primates to the scientists and let the mosquito professionals at the Squad handle your pest control needs. It’s what we do, and we are the best at it. Call us today.