Zika Virus Not A Threat In Wyoming

Jun 7, 2016

The Aedes Aegypti mosquito that can carry the Zika Virus is not native to Wyoming.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

According to the Wyoming Department of Health, the Zika Virus should have little to no presence in Wyoming this summer.

There have been 618 cases of Zika in the United States reported to the Centers for Disease Control over the past year.

The virus is linked to the birth defect microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with smaller-than-average heads and underdeveloped brains.

While cases of Zika have been reported across the United States, spokeswoman for the Wyoming Department of Health Kim Deti said the species of the mosquitoes that carry Zika will not reach Wyoming.

"We're not going to see an ongoing outbreak here in Wyoming," Deti said. "However, it does remain a concern for people who may be traveling to affected areas, especially if they're pregnant, or they might become pregnant, or those women's partners."

The only reported cases of Zika in the U.S. so far have been travel-related, where people have traveled to Zika-prone in Central or South America and have come back to the U.S. with the virus. There have been no cases so far spread through mosquito in the U.S.

The potential for Zika to spread through mosquito is possible in the Southeast and Midwest because the type of mosquito in those areas, the Aedes species of mosquito, can carry the virus. That is not the case in Wyoming.

Deti said the West Nile Virus is more of a threat in Wyoming compared to the Zika Virus. 727 cases of West Nile Virus have been reported since it first appeared in Wyoming in 2002.

"West Nile Virus is not new, and people know about it. And we want to continue to remind them that it's a continual threat, and we will continue to remind them to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes."

Deti said good ways to protect yourself against the West Nile Virus is to avoid being outside during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are out and to wear bug spray with deet repellent or a lemon eucalyptus derivative.