Can Montana Mosquitoes Carry Zika? DPHHS Issues Travel Warning
So far, researchers have identified 50 different varieties of mosquitoes in Montana, and, with international warnings about the Zika virus, many are wondering if Montana's pests may bring the virus here.
"What is known this time about Zika, doesn't show that any of the mosquitoes living in Montana to be really competent hosts of this virus," said Montana Communicable Disease Bureau Chief Jim Murphy said. "Two types of Aedes mosquitoes, that can competently support this and spread it, seemto be confined to the south eastern United States, and some small parts of California and New Mexico."
The big threat of Zika for Montanans is from travelers bringing the virus here, which is why the state DPHHS office released a travel warning today, February 3.
"Our primary risk here, and why we are trying to get word out to people in Montana, if you are traveling from Montana to one of those areas (Mexico, Central, or South America), you are at risk and you should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. If you are a pregnant woman and you plan on traveling to one of those areas, you may want to postpone your travel."
Murphy said that, so far, no Montanans are known to have contracted the disease. Although the symptoms for Zika are similar to flu, Murphy says that there aren't even suspected cases of Zika in Montana at this point.